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Mark Robinson Wins Republican Primary for North Carolina Governor

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Mark Robinson Wins Republican Primary for North Carolina Governor

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Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson of North Carolina defeated his two challengers in the Republican primary for the governor’s race on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press. His win proved that his blustering, Trump-aligned style is favored by conservatives who are gearing up for what will probably be the most expensive and closely contested statewide race in the country.

Mr. Robinson had consistently maintained a sizable lead against his opponents, Dale Folwell, the state treasurer, and Bill Graham, a personal injury and wrongful death lawyer. Now he will face Josh Stein, the Democratic state attorney general, whose policies mirror those of Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat who is popular but term limited.

Mr. Robinson’s nomination notched another success in what has been a remarkable rise for the lieutenant governor: In 2018, he was working in furniture manufacturing. A year later, after he drew national attention in conservative circles with a video showing him criticizing gun control at a public meeting in Greensboro, he entered the race for lieutenant governor.

Now, four years after being elected to statewide office as a political firebrand and newcomer, Mr. Robinson is charging toward the executive mansion in Raleigh with a brand of conservatism that focuses on culture war issues, testing how far right North Carolinians are willing to go in their purple state.

Mr. Robinson has characterized the civil rights movement as a communist and socialist plot to “subvert capitalism,” promised to arrest transgender women who use women’s restrooms and said that Christians are “called to be led by men.” He has disparaged the L.G.B.T.Q. community, made comments widely perceived as antisemitic and called for limiting discussions about racism in public schools.

Mr. Robinson’s rhetoric will ratchet up the attention on North Carolina, which many see as crucial to winning the presidency.

Democratic leaders in the state hope that Mr. Robinson’s controversial comments will drive Democrats to the polls and help them win swing voters. But some Republican strategists believe Mr. Robinson’s personality will animate the base and drive up their own turnout.

Mr. Robinson supports a so-called heartbeat law, banning abortion at about five or six weeks of pregnancy; such a ban would go further than current state law, which restricts abortion after 12 weeks. His campaign spokesman said that Mr. Robinson supports exceptions for rape, incest or when the life of the mother is in danger, but he did not provide details.

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