A year ago in December 2022, District 59 state Rep. Jon Hardister announced he was considering running for North Carolina commissioner of labor and would make a decision over the holidays.

On Jan. 4, 2023, Hardister announced he had decided to run for commissioner of labor, and on Dec. 4, Hardister made it official and filed to run for commissioner of labor.

The current NC commissioner of labor, Republican Josh Dobson, announced he would not run for re-election. Dobson replaced former Commissioner of Labor Republican Cherie Berry, who served in that position for 20 years, which means North Carolina has had a Republican commissioner of labor for 24 years.

Berry started the popular practice of having her photo in every elevator in the state and Dobson decided to end that practice. Hardister has announced that if elected he plans to reinstate the practice of having a photo of the commissioner of labor in every elevator in the state.

Since making his announcement in January, Hardister has been busy campaigning and picking up endorsements from prominent Republicans all across the state.

When Hardister announced he was running for commissioner of labor, he was the state House majority whip. However, Hardister resigned his position as majority whip in order to be able to devote more time to his campaign.

Hardister has served in the state House since 2012 and is currently serving his sixth term as a state representative.

In a press release Hardister said, “During my time in the legislature, I have worked to lower taxes, reform the tax code, balance our budget, and promote workforce development. I am proud of the work we have done to make North Carolina the best state business, and will bring that same mindset to the Department of Labor.”

The deadline for filing to run in 2024 is Friday, Dec. 15, so more candidates could file, but currently in addition to Hardister, three Republicans and one Democrat have filed to run for commissioner of labor.

The other Republicans who will be on the ballot in the March 5 Republican primary are Luke Farley of Raleigh, Travis J. Wilson of Waxhaw and Chuck Stanley of Clarendon.  The lone Democrat in the race at this point is Braxton Winston II of Charlotte.