Making predictions about the November election this far out is fraught with peril, but here is one: North Carolina will elect its first African-American lieutenant governor in 2020.
Whether than lieutenant governor will be Democrat or Republican, male or female, is unknown, but it is a safe prediction that the new lieutenant governor of North Carolina will be black.
Mark Robinson, a black man from Greensboro, won the Republican nomination in a nine-way race in the March 3 primary with 32.5 percent of the vote.
State Rep. Yvonne Lewis Holley, a black woman from Raleigh, didn’t have quite as much success in the six-way Democratic primary. She won, but only with 26.6 percent of the vote. In primaries, if a candidate does not win more than 30 percent of the vote, the second place finisher can request a runoff election. However, state Sen. Terry Van Duyn, who finished second with 20.4 percent of the vote, announced Tuesday, March 10, that she would not request a runoff election, making Holley the Democratic nominee.
It may appear that Holley has an advantage because she has political experience, having served in the state House for eight years while Robinson is a political novice, running for office for the first time.
However, Robinson won his primary outright and he was up against a number of Republican politicians with far more experience. In winning the primary, Robinson defeated State Superintendent of Public instruction Mark Johnson, who had defeated a Democratic incumbent in 2016 to win that statewide race. He also defeated former three-term Congresswoman Renee Ellmers; state Sen. Andy Wells, who is serving his third term in the state Senate and served one in the state House; and former state Rep. Scott Stone.
Plus, Robinson won that race without a lot money. He raised a little over $100,000 – not a lot for a statewide race. Van Duyn by comparison raised $489,000 for her losing effort in the Democratic primary.
Robinson is constantly described in the mainstream media as “a gun rights activist” because he made a three-minute speech before the Greensboro City Council in defense of his Second Amendment rights and the video of that speech went viral. However, Robinson is far more than a one-issue candidate and is just as articulate and forceful speaking about his conservative beliefs and values.