The candidates for North Carolina lieutenant governor, Republican Mark Robinson and Democrat state Rep. Yvonne Holly, could not be more different from a political standpoint.

The two candidates held a debate Sunday, Sept. 19, broadcast on Spectrum News and available on the Spectrum News website.

The debate was cordial and, unlike many other races in the state and around the country, there were no personal attacks – just absolute disagreement not simply on the issues but even on whether the issues existed.

Robinson began many of his answers variations of “I absolutely disagree …”

Regardless of who wins, the state will have elected its first black lieutenant governor and race was the topic of several questions.

When asked about the racial problems in the country and as black leaders how they should be handled, Robinson said, “Number one, I don’t consider myself a black leader. I consider myself a leader in North Carolina who just happens to be black.”

Holly said that systemic racism in this country was a huge long term problem and people needed to get together to talk about it to start working toward a solution.

Robinson countered by saying, “I don’t believe in systemic racism. I don’t believe that systemic racism would allow two black people to be standing here running for lieutenant governor or allow a black man to be elected president for two terms.”

He said, “Systemic racism is not the problem. The problem is we have is far too many communities ruled by lawlessness.

Holly said she is opposed to requiring any form of voter identification. She said that voting was a constitutional right of all citizens and they should be able to go vote without having to produce any identification.

Robinson said that voter identification was “commonsense legislation for the common good because the integrity of our vote needs to be protected.”

In closing statements Holly said, “North Carolina is now in a position where people are afraid.” She said they wanted to know “How are we going to be kept safe from violence? How are we going to be kept safe from COVID? How are we going to be kept safe from war?”

Robinson said, “I think I would have to disagree. North Carolinas are not afraid. North Carolinians are courageous and ready to move forward in this state with some real progress.”