Top North Carolina Republicans opposed to Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson are rallying around Bill Graham, an attorney and wealthy businessman expected to enter the 2024 gubernatorial race Wednesday.
Republican insiders in North Carolina worry Robinson has too much baggage to win a high-profile contest in a battleground state that has seen Democrats occupy the governor’s mansion for most of the last three decades. Enter Graham, who plans to announce he will seed his campaign for the Republican nomination with $5 million in personal cash and begin advertising on statewide television October 26. Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, is barred from reelection because of term limits.
“Only four of the last thirty years have been led by a Republican governor in North Carolina; we keep losing to the liberals,” Graham will say, according to a draft press release first shared with The Dispatch. “If we want to change that, we need a nominee who will have the resources, discipline, and character needed to defeat the far-left Josh Stein in November. I am that candidate, and my campaign will prove it.”
Josh Stein, the North Carolina attorney general, is favored to win the Democratic nomination for governor in next year’s primary. Graham has run for governor once before, in 2008. He finished a distant third in the GOP primary, garnering just under 9.3 percent.