Mark Robinson wins GOP nomination for NC governor, says ‘underdog’ story ‘just like North Carolina herself’

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North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson won the Republican nomination on Super Tuesday and told a group of enthusiastic supporters in a victory speech late Tuesday evening that he hopes to make history by becoming the state’s first Black governor.

In his victory speech, Robinson commended his team and celebrated his own “underdog” story, which he likened to North Carolina’s own story as a state.

“We stand by what we believe in, who we are, and our story. Because our story is a great story,” Robinson said at a Greensboro victory party. “Our story is a story that’s deeply rooted in North Carolina. It is the story of North Carolina. A story of being the underdog. A story of being the person who had to come back, the person who was the person who had to overcome obstacles to see a better day, just like North Carolina herself.”

He continued, “But like North Carolina herself, we have risen past that to see a better day. And we stand here on this stage now, ready to move forward, ready to move forward into that better day. And I would be remiss right now if I did not give credit to the person, I believe, who was most responsible for my success, other than my beautiful wife, Yolanda, who is standing here on the stage with me.”

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North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson speaks at an election night event in Greensboro, North Carolina, on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Robinson, who was endorsed by former President Trump over the weekend, with the former president calling him “Martin Luther King on steroids,” also thanked his supporters and their work and commitment.

“We appreciate you, always giving thanks to Jesus Christ for giving us life, health, strength and allowing us to live in such a blessed and prosperous land. Well guys, tonight is the cultivation of a lot of doggone hard work. A lot of hard work and commitment. Not just by me and my team, and our campaign staff, but by a whole category of people across the state who believe in us, who believe in our message, believe in our vision, and want to see North Carolina go into the right direction and did the hard work it took to get through this primary,” he said.

Robinson added, “Those of you all who know me know who I am. I’m a person who has a deep love for the state of North Carolina. Why? Because the state of North Carolina has been doggone good to Mark Robinson. From the time I was a little poor kid growing up and right here in Greensboro … to the time I was a young man in the United States military, to the time when I was a young father struggling to take care of my family to this very moment, standing on the stage as the Republican nominee for governor of this great state.

Robinson speaking with supporters

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, Republican candidate for governor, speaks at an election night event in Greensboro, North Carolina, on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

“This state has been doggone good to me,” the Republican nominee continued. “Now it is time for me to repay the debt of gratitude that I have to this great state and its people. I look out across this group of people who stand or stand in front of me now, and I see the struggles and successes symbolize North Carolina.”

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“We’re here for you. We understand you. I know the state. I know the state of the battle and federal policy that causes that. And I’m here for the people of North Carolina,” he concluded.

On Tuesday, Robinson defeated State Treasurer Dale Folwell and trial attorney Bill Graham to earn the Republican nomination.

In the November general election, Robinson will run against Democratic nominee Josh Stein, who also secured his party’s nomination on Tuesday, to replace the term-limited Gov. Roy Cooper.

Josh Stein, Roy Cooper

Democratic North Carolina gubernatorial candidate Josh Stein, right, is introduced by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper at a primary election night party in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)

Stein, a longtime member of North Carolina’s political scene, was endorsed by Cooper.

“We must be clear-eyed about the stakes of this election,” Stein told supporters in Raleigh. “We’re at a crossroads and the choice before us: two competing visions for North Carolina.”

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In his own remarks Tuesday evening, Robinson also contrasted himself with Stein.

“The differences could not be more clear,” Robinson said. “I’m sure the people of North Carolina will make the right choice.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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