The North Carolina lieutenant governor’s race is for North Carolinians what the presidential race is for Democrats.
At one point it seemed like every Democrat who could raise $10 was running for president; a few have dropped out making the field a little more reasonable.
But with filing for state offices next month, the list of candidates for lieutenant governor continues to grow.
Mark Robinson of Greensboro, who is known for the video of a speech he made before the Greensboro City Council on Second Amendment rights that went viral, announced he was running for lieutenant governor on July 2.
What was already a crowded race got more crowded this week when NC Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson announced his intention to run for lieutenant governor in 2020, not for reelection. Johnson is the eighth Republican to announce his intention to run for lieutenant governor.
Five Democrats have also announced they are going to run, for a total of 13 in a race for a job that usually doesn’t attract a whole lot of attention.
Lt. Governor Dan Forest is running for governor, which makes it an open seat.
Johnson, from Winston-Salem, does have an advantage in the race. He not only won a statewide election in 2016, he knocked off an incumbent. Being the state superintendent of schools has given him some statewide recognition during the past three years, but not all of it has been good.
There is no reason to think this list of candidates is complete, but so far Republicans who say they are going to run for lieutenant governor, along with Robinson and Johnson, are Greg Gebhardt, Buddy Bengal, Scott Stone, Deborah Cochran, State Sen. Andy Wells, and former US Congresswoman Renee Ellmers, .
The Democrats who are currently running are State Rep. Chaz Beasley, Bill Toole, Hoke County Commissioner Allen Thomas, State Sen. Terry Van Duyn and State Rep. Yvonne Holley.