N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein announces run for governor

Joel Burgess
Asheville Citizen Times

Attorney General Josh Stein has announced a run for governor, saying he would fight for a North Carolina “rooted in our shared values of freedom, justice, and opportunity for everyone.”

“I learned early on that some things are worth fighting for, no matter the opposition,” Stein, a Democrat, said in a Jan. 18 release. “Some politicians want to tell you who you should hate, when you’ll be pregnant, and who you can marry. I believe in a different North Carolina — and that the fights we choose determine what kind of state we’ll become. We’ll build a better and brighter North Carolina by standing together for what’s right, fighting to fix what’s wrong, and doing right by every single North Carolinian.”

The announcement is the first of any major party candidate for the state's executive position. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper will leave office after 2024 having served the maximum of two four-year terms. Republican Mark Robinson, the state's first Black lieutenant governor known for anti-LGBTQ statements, climate change denial and other far-right stances, is openly considering a run.

In the release Stein said his accomplishments included:

  • Fighting for victims of the opioid epidemic, and holding big drug companies accountable for the lives they wrecked.
  • Working to bring investment to small businesses and neighborhoods that had been left behind.
  • Taking on corporate greed and saving taxpayers hundreds of millions cracking down on Medicaid fraud.
  • Keeping our communities safe from rapists by tackling the rape kit backlog, and more.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein visited Asheville on July 25, 2022 to speak with leaders of various Buncombe County agencies on opioid interventions in Buncombe County.

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In an accompanying video, Stein talked about a vision for stronger public schools and expanded economic opportunity to "every corner of North Carolina."

He said he was grounded by a family that instilled strong values of public service, justice, and equality, as well as a faith that teaches that "we are all children of God and that we’re called to make a difference."

With campaign cash, Stein has raised more than $5 million and has nearly $4 million cash-on-hand, the release said.

He has been endorsed by 150 elected officials, among them 64 members of the state house and senate, 16 mayors, and 28 district attorneys and sheriffs, and nine current and former members of Congress, he said.

The Citizen Times has reached out to Stein but he had not responded by press time.

Joel Burgess has lived in WNC for more than 20 years, covering politics, government, and other news. He's written award-winning stories on topics ranging from gerrymandering to police use of force. Got a tip? Contact Burgess at, 828-713-1095, or on Twitter @AVLreporter. Please help support this type of journalism with a subscription to the Citizen Times.