NATIONAL NEWS

North Carolina treasurer running for governor in 2024

Mar 25, 2023, 8:24 AM | Updated: 8:46 am

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell announced on Saturday he will run for governor in 2024, a bid that will likely require him besting Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson to earn the Republican nomination.

While Republicans have controlled the Legislature since 2011 and won a majority on the state Supreme Court last November, they have struggled to enter the Executive Mansion. The GOP has won just one gubernatorial general election since 1992, and winner Pat McCrory served for just four years.

Folwell, a former legislator, school board member and state unemployment office chief who was first elected treasurer in 2016, said he would bring competence to operating government in a fiscally sound manner and look out for working people if elected.

“The root word of ‘governor’ is to govern, and what that means is to be the CEO of the biggest business in the state,” Folwell told The Associated Press in an interview. “And based on my track record of saving lives, minds and money, I’m uniquely qualified to do that.”

The state constitution prevents Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper from seeking a third consecutive term.

Folwell had said in September that he was strongly considering a run for governor after encouragement from several Republicans. He revealed his plans first at Saturday’s Republican Party convention for Forsyth County, where he lives.

The disclosure came two days after Robinson said he’d hold an April 22 rally at an Alamance County race track, where he’d make a “special announcement” about 2024.

Robinson’s campaign adviser declined to reveal his specific plans, but Robinson has said previously that he was fairly certain that he’d run for governor.

Robinson, who was elected the state’s first Black lieutenant governor in 2020 in his first run for office, released an autobiography last year and is a popular speaker at conservative churches and events.

Attorney General Josh Stein announced his bid Last week, Robinson criticized churches that fly a “rainbow flag.”

Robinson hasn’t apologized for certain remarks, saying he wasn’t attacking the LGBTQ+ community — but rather it was a judgment on reading materials in the public schools. He also said he can separate his religious views from his governmental responsibilities. But some Republicans are worried about whether Robinson can win the general election in the closely divided state.

Folwell had already criticized Robinson’s governing style months ago.

At his announcement, Folwell pointed out that the public didn’t even know who Robinson was a few years ago. Since then, Folwell said, Robinson has “spent all this time attacking people instead of attacking the important problems that our citizens are facing.”

Folwell, meanwhile, said he’s attractive to voters because they feel like as an elected official “I’m doing the right thing on their behalf.”

“They’re going to respond to somebody who speaks to them like adults,” he added.

Folwell said his timing to get in the race had nothing to do with Robinson’s upcoming announcement — he wanted to reveal his plans first to his fellow local Republicans.

Folwell, 64, ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor in 2012 before winning his current statewide job four years later.

While treasurer, he’s focused upon efforts to curb health care costs for state employees and retirees and for the poor as a way to improve their well-being. As McCrory’s unemployment office chief he helped carry out system reforms and implement new technologies.

The state treasurer manages the state’s investments and its massive government employee pension funds. His office also oversees the health insurance program for state workers and teachers and their dependents.

The State Health Plan has been sued over its decision — defended by Folwell — to decline covering gender-affirming treatments for transgender employees and their children.

While delivering the Republican response to Cooper’s State of the State address earlier this month, Robinson focused on his life story while promoting fiscal responsibility and respect for law enforcement and public school teachers.

Folwell also talks about growing up in poverty. Folwell said his young adulthood included working as a trash collector and in motorcycle shops before going to college and becoming a CPA. He then worked for an investment firm.

Former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., also has expressed interest in a gubernatorial bid. Candidate filing for the March 2024 primary is held in December, but anyone else seeking to challenge Robinson will feel pressure to enter this spring.

At the end of 2022, Folwell reported $47,000 in cash in his campaign account, compared to $2.2 million held by Robinson’s campaign.

National News

Associated Press

Alaska election officials to recalculate signatures for ranked vote repeal measure after court order

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A state court judge on Friday disqualified numerous booklets used to gather signatures for an initiative that aims to repeal Alaska’s ranked choice voting system and gave elections officials a deadline to determine if the measure still had sufficient signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The decision by Superior Court […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Florida man arrested, accused of making threats against Trump, Vance on social media

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man accused of making threats against former President Donald Trump, U.S. Sen. JD Vance and their families on social media was arrested on Friday, police said. The Jupiter Police Department said in a news release that officers arrested Michael W. Wiseman on charges of written threats to kill. He […]

3 hours ago

FILE - Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., leaves the Capitol after being expelled from the House of Repres...

Associated Press

Judge turns down ex-Rep. George Santos’ request to nix some charges ahead of fraud trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. George Santos on Friday lost a bid to get rid of part of the criminal case against him as he heads toward trial on charges that include defrauding campaign donors. U.S. District Joanna Seybert turned down Santos’ request to dismiss charges of aggravated identity theft and theft of […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

A judge adds 11 years to the sentence for a man in a Chicago bomb plot

CHICAGO (AP) — A man convicted of plotting to blow up a Chicago bar will have to spend another 11 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly resentenced Adel Daoud to 27 years in prison on Friday, the Chicago Tribune reported. U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman originally sentenced Daoud to 16 years in […]

4 hours ago

FILE Opponents to an immigration proposal gather inside the Arizona State Capitol, Tuesday, June 4,...

Associated Press

Legal fight continues with appeals over proposed immigration initiative for Arizona Nov. 5 ballot

PHOENIX (AP) — The fight to keep a proposed border initiative off Arizona’s Nov. 5 ballot is not over yet. Immigrant advocates kept the issue alive this week by filing notice to the state Supreme Court that they will appeal the judge’s ruling. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge on July 12 rejected an effort […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Lawsuit filed over Alabama law that blocks more people with felony convictions from voting

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A voting rights group says a new Alabama law that expanded the list of felonies that cause a person to lose their right to vote is “out of step” with what is happening in most of the nation on voting rights for formerly incarcerated people. The Campaign Legal Center filed the […]

5 hours ago

North Carolina treasurer running for governor in 2024