North Carolina State Treasurer Dale Folwell is currently the only major Republican who has announced he is running for governor in 2024.
But by the end of next month, it is expected that two more Republican heavyweights. both from Guilford County, will have formally launched their campaigns.
The News & Observer reported today that former 6th District Congressman Mark Walker is planning to run for governor in 2024 and is expected to make a formal announcement next month. The N&O quoted a consultant Walker had hired to advise his gubernatorial campaign.
After redistricting made the 6th District all but unwinnable by a Republican, Walker declined to run for reelection in 2020 and ran for the open US Senate seat in 2022. Walker finished third in the Republican primary, which was won by Sen. Ted Budd, who at the time was the 13th District congressman and went on to win the general election. Former NC Gov. Pat McCrory finished second in that primary.
Walker served three terms in Congress, winning elections in 2014, 2016 and 2018, and in his final term in the US House served as vice chair of the House Republican Conference.
Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is holding a rally at Ace Speedway in Elon on Saturday, April 22, and it has been widely reported that Robinson will be officially announcing his run for governor in 2024.
On social media Guilford County Republicans have posted about participating in the filming of a Robinson for governor campaign commercial, so it is all but a certainty that Robinson’s official announcement will be at the racetrack rally this weekend.
Walker lives in Summerfield, Robinson in High Point and Folwell in Winton-Salem, so what are anticipated to be the three top Republican candidates are all from the Piedmont Triad.
All three have statewide campaign experience. Folwell has won two statewide elections for state treasurer and Robinson has won one statewide election for lieutenant governor. Walker ran in the statewide Republican primary for the Senate but has not run in a statewide general election.
NC Attorney General Josh Stein is the only Democrat who has announced he is running for governor in 2024.