North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell announced Saturday, March 25 that he is running for governor in 2024, and he won’t be alone in the Republican primary for long.

Folwell was first elected state treasurer in 2016 and reelected in 2020, so he has two winning statewide elections under his belt. Folwell also served on the Winston-Salem Forsyth County school board and was elected to four terms in the state House. In the administration of Gov. Pat McCrory, Folwell served as the assistant secretary of commerce and was put in charge of the state unemployment system, which at the time owed the federal government $2.5 billion. When Folwell left office in 2015, the unemployment insurance system had a $1 billion surplus.

So Folwell has come up through the ranks and paid his political dues.

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson who has all but declared he is running for governor in 2024 was a political unknown until 2018 when he made a three-minute speech at a Greensboro City Council meeting on Second Amendment rights.

The video of Robinson speaking went viral and has had millions of views. Robinson was encouraged to run for lieutenant governor in an extremely crowded Republican primary. He won it by a wide margin and in 2020 was elected as North Carolina’s first black lieutenant governor.

Robinson is expected to officially announce his candidacy on April 22.

Folwell has received high marks for the job he has done as state treasurer. As part of that job, Folwell overseas the states $119 billion retirement fund and he also handles the state healthcare system. Folwell has made a lot of noise about the state of the healthcare system and the fact that as state treasurer he is responsible for paying the bills, but even he can’t find out what he’s paying for.

Serving as the North Carolina lieutenant governor gives Robinson an unusual advantage over Folwell in the gubernatorial primary because in North Carolina the lieutenant governor doesn’t have a lot to do. Robinson has plenty of time to make speeches and he is an extremely good speaker.

Although Robinson has not announced he is running for governor, at the end of 2022 Robinson has over $2.2 million in his campaign account compared to $47,000 for Folwell.

It is also worth noting that Robinson was chosen to give the Republican response to Gov. Roy Cooper’s state of the state address at the beginning of this month, which is a strong indication of which way the Republican leadership in the legislature is leaning.