Stein attempted to portray himself as different from a potential leading Republican contender, North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson. Robinson has not announced a run for governor, but Stein appears to have felt it important to go on the offensive against Robinson in his announcement to be governor.
“Robinson wants to tell you who you can marry, when you’ll be pregnant, and who you should hate,” Stein said in a video announcing his run.
“I’m running for governor because I believe in a very different North Carolina. One rooted in our shared values of freedom, justice and opportunity for everyone. And I believe the fights we choose show who we are and determine what kind of state we’ll become,” Stein added.
Stein also hit hard on the topic of abortion, especially after last year when Republicans pushed him to request a federal court get rid of an injunction on a state law that prohibits almost all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. He did not do so.
“North Carolina is one of the last states in the South where women can access a safe and lawful abortion,” Stein reportedly said in another statement. “Any woman from an anti-choice state who travels to another state is not a criminal; she is accessing health care. I will do everything in my power to preserve women’s freedoms.”
Democratic Governor Roy Cooper is unable to seek another term, and Stein is jumping into the ring early.
“It should be clear that Stein is scared of a primary. He won his last election by less than 15,000 votes out of the more than 5 Million cast,” Conrad Pogorzelski, a political advisor for Robinson, told Fox News Digital. “He is hoping that by creating the narrative that it is him against Robinson, he can avoid a primary against Joan Higginbotham or Michael Regan.”
Stein also announced that he has been “endorsed by a diverse group of more than 150 officials” throughout the state, including former Democratic Governor Jim Hunt, the state House Democratic leader, several districts attorney, as well as members of law enforcement.
“Josh Stein is smart, caring, and hardworking — precisely the type of person we want to be Governor,” former Governor Jim Hunt said in his endorsement. “He’ll focus on educating our kids, keeping families safe, and building a strong economy. Electing Josh as our next Governor will be a great thing for North Carolina.”
Stein has served as the attorney general of the state since 2017 and was a member of the state Senate prior to that from 2009 to 2016. In May of 2022, he experienced a minor stroke and said that physicians took out a small blood clot and that he didn’t have any remaining side effects.