Mark Robinson of Greensboro won the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor on Tuesday night, March 3, which was an amazing victory.
Robinson, a first time candidate, came to national attention when he made an impromptu three-minute speech before the Greensboro City Council in defense of his Second Amendment rights. The video of that speech went viral with millions of views.
Robinson is an impressive speaker. At a forum for the Republican lieutenant governor candidates in High Point, after Robinson spoke, the moderator suggested taking a short break so that no other candidate would have to follow directly after Robinson.
With no political experience, Robinson finished the night with 32.5 percent of the vote, avoiding a runoff election, which in a nine-way race seemed likely.
Robinson defeated second place finisher state Sen. Andy Wells with 14.6 percent of the vote and North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson with 12 percent. John Ritter finished fourth with 11.5 percent. Former Congresswoman Renee Ellmers finished fifth with 6.8 percent.
Also in that race were Greg Gebhardt, Scott Stone, Deborah Cochran and Buddy Bengal.
Certainly, Johnson who won the statewide race for superintendent of schools in 2016 had to have started the race with an advantage because of name recognition and having already formed a statewide campaign organization.
Finishing a nine way race with over 30 percent of the vote is a great way for Robinson to start his political career.
In the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor, Yvonne Lewis Holley finished with 26.6 percent, not enough to avoid a runoff primary with Terry Van Duyn, who finished second with 20.4 percent. Also running in that race was Allen Thomas, Chaz Beasley, Bill Toole and Ron Newton.
So Robinson will either face Holley or Van Duyn in the November election.
A total of 15 candidates running in the lieutenant governor primaries has to be some kind of record.