Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson will give the Republican response to Gov. Roy Cooper’s State of the State address on Monday, March 6.

The governor gives a State of the State speech every two years during the long session of the North Carolina General Assembly.  Traditionally, the Republican response alternates between the state House and Senate.  The speaker of the state House Rep. Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) gave the Republican response in 2021.  According to tradition, President Pro Tem of the state Senate Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) would give the response this year.

However, earlier this week Berger said he would not be giving the response this year but declined to say who would be giving the response.  The smart money bet that it would be Robinson, and on Thursday, March 2, Robinson officially announced that he would be giving the response for the state Senate.  As lieutenant governor, Robinson is president of the Senate. He presides over Senate sessions but only votes in the case of a tie.

Cooper is serving his second term as governor and is constitutionally prohibited from serving a third term.  Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein has announced he will be running for the Democratic nomination, and one of the worst kept secrets in Raleigh is that Robinson will be running in the Republican primary for governor.  Robinson has not made an official announcement but has been raising money and generally behaving like a candidate.

It is expected that Stein and Robinson will face each other in the governor’s race in November 2024.

Robinson is the first black candidate elected to the office of North Carolina lieutenant governor.

Robinson is a native of Greensboro and caught the public’s attention in 2018 when he made a fiery speech on Second Amendment rights before the Greensboro City Council.

Since that 2018 debut, Robinson has become known for making bold conservative statements and not backing down when attacked by the mainstream media.

Usually the response to State of State speeches are pro forma and don’t attract much attention.  However, Robinson has never been pro forma and viewers should expect some fireworks in Robinson’s response to Cooper’s State of the State.