As state attorney general, Stein has defended reproductive freedom, reduced the state’s testing backlog on sexual assault kits, defended voting rights, and helped negotiate a national opioid settlement.
Josh Stein, North Carolina’s Democratic Attorney General, announced on Wednesday that he will be running for governor in 2024, when incumbent Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is termed out of office.
In his launch video, Stein pledged he would fight for equality and freedom for all, while also focusing on public education and economic opportunity.
“We’ll build a better and brighter North Carolina by standing up for what’s right, fighting to fix what’s wrong and doing right by every single North Carolinians, no matter who you are,” Stein said.
He also criticized the hatred and division being fueled by certain politicians, including Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, an extreme, anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ politician who is expected to run for governor in 2024.
The video included snippets of Robinson’s speeches for which he’s been criticized, including a segment where Robinson calls abortion a “scourge that needs to be run out of his land.”
“Robinson wants to tell you who you can marry, when you’ll be pregnant and who you should hate,” Stein said. “I’m running for governor because I believe in a very different North Carolina, one rooted in our shared values of freedom, justice and opportunity for everyone.”
As state attorney general, Stein has defended reproductive freedom in North Carolina, reduced the state’s testing backlog on sexual assault kits, defended voting rights, and helped negotiate a national opioid settlement. He was also part of a landmark legal settlement that forced electronic cigarette giant Juul Labs Inc. to pay $40 million to North Carolina and take more action to prevent underage use and sales.
Stein also unveiled what his campaign called 150 endorsements, from former four-term Gov. Jim Hunt and current House Minority Leader Robert Reives to ex-Supreme Court justices and big-city mayors.
The 56-year-old Stein is the son of civil rights attorney Adam Stein and grew up in Chapel Hill. He went to Dartmouth College and later Harvard University, where he received a law degree. Before becoming the state’s top law enforcement official, he served in the state Senate, representing a Wake County district.
While North Carolina has leaned red at the national level and in the General Assembly, Democrats have won seven of the last eight gubernatorial elections in North Carolina dating to 1992.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.