Robinson, the first African American to hold his current office, has attracted attention for his statements and staunch support of Second Amendment rights. On Tuesday, he won the Republican gubernatorial nomination for the general election to succeed term-limited Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina, a critical battleground state in the 2024 presidential election.

“Today is Primary Election Day! Thank you to all our hard-working volunteers and all the poll workers helping our friends and neighbors make their voices heard today!” Robinson wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Tuesday morning.

Robinson defeated Republican Treasurer Dale Folwell of North Carolina and former gubernatorial candidate Bill Graham in the primary. Graham issued a statement following the AP’s call of the race to warn of Robinson’s candidacy.

“Mark Robinson is an unelectable candidate in the general election in North Carolina, and he puts a conservative future at risk for everyone, from the courthouse to the White House,” Graham wrote in a press release emailed to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “I am sick and tired of Republicans losing gubernatorial races,” he added.

Robinson’s candidacy was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and the National Rifle Association. Polls indicated that he was the frontrunner for the nomination by over 10 percentage points, according to RealClearPolitics.

Robinson first attracted media attention after speaking in favor of gun rights at a meeting of the Greensboro City Council in 2018, which was widely shared online. “The law-abiding citizens of this community…we’re the first ones taxed and the last ones considered and the first ones punished when [mass shootings] happen because our rights are the ones being taken away,” Robinson said.

Robinson will face Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein of North Carolina, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee who also won his party’s primary on Tuesday night, in the general election. Polls indicated a narrow race between them, with a poll in February conducted by East Carolina University showing Robinson and Stein tied with 41% support, with 14% of voters undecided.

Robinson and Stein’s campaigns did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Arjun Singh on March 5, 2024
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