Robinson says 2024 governor run a possibility; addresses book critics

Image of the upcoming book "We Are The Majority: The Life and Passions of a Patriot" by Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson

RALEIGH — North Carolina’s first black Lt. Gov., Mark Robinson, spoke at length with North State Journal about his new book and the prospect of a run for governor in 2024. 

Robinson’s book is titled, “We Are The Majority: The Life and Passions of Patriot” and will be released on Sept. 27.  

The book outlines a number of topics, including the fiery gun rights speech he gave before the Greensboro City Council in 2018 which, in part, paved the way for his successful campaign.  

Robinson took office as the state’s 35th Lt. Gov. in January 2021. He won office by defeating Democrat Yvonne Lewis Holley with 51.6% of the vote to Holley’s 48.4%. 

The 54-year-old Robinson told North State Journal the book had been in the works for some time. 

“I wrote a manuscript a couple years ago and just didn’t really do anything with it,” Robinson said, adding that “the timing just kind of came together” and that it “wasn’t necessarily something that was planned.”  

“I think one of the key things would be the importance of family,” Robinson said when asked what he hopes readers will take way from his book. “When I look back at my life, family was absolutely paramount in my life.” 

Family has played a key role in Robinson’s life. A native of Greensboro, his official biography is brutally honest, stating he had nine other siblings and “grew up extremely poor.” The bio also admits his “father was an alcoholic who routinely abused his mother.” 

Faith also plays a crucial role for Robinson, writing that his mother “displayed her faith and hard work heroically for her children after her husband died, providing for them despite only having a fifth-grade education.” He also credits his mother for “cultivating a foundation for his faith, and an understanding that with hard work he could achieve anything.” 

“A second thing would be the importance of are challenging each other,” said Robinson.” To be better and do better.”  

He added that one last thing he would want readers to take away from the book is to not be afraid to speak up.  

“Speak up for what you believe in,” said Robinson. “Stand firm for what you believe in. Get out here and work to push what you believe in. Don’t be that person that stands in the background and doesn’t want to be a part of what’s going on.” 

Robinson, a Republican, also said he thinks the book will help clear misconceptions local media has reported about him.  

“Of course, it’s for people to get to know us a little bit better,” Robinson said of the book. “And stop listening to someone jumps out there [with] some of the untruths and some of the half-truths and to get the message directly from me.” 

“We all know who’s going to be a critic of the book – it’s going to be folks who don’t like our message,” said Robinson. “Who don’t like what we’re saying, don’t like our party, don’t like our message. And that criticism is fine. But, again, we wrote the book to set the record straight and anyone who tries to misinterpret our words or misuse our words, we’re going to be right there to make sure that record is set straight.” 

Local media outlets and Democrats have picked out sections of the book, claiming Robinson wants to “remove science and history” from elementary school curriculum. One MSNBC reporter even dubbed Robinson to be a “full-on extremist.” 

Robinson’s response was to call the media out for peddling narratives.  

“You know, these people in the mainstream media, they find one thing that a person says that they don’t like and they take it and run with and write their own narrative,” said Robinson. 

“You know, we’re talking about education,” Robinson said. “Education is not something that’s administered by one person and it’s not something that’s deciding on by one person. It’s not like if I became governor, I would be sitting in the chair, decide everything for everyone. I come to the table and bring my ideas.” 

He went on to say that one of the “major ideas” he has is that in elementary grades the main focus should be on reading, writing and math. Robinson said no matter what the lesson is, whether it be history or science, those three components should be the major focus. 

“That lesson should have the reading component, a writing component,” Robinson said. “That should permeate everything that is done in an elementary school setting from grades 1 through 5 to ensure that by the time that child gets the middle school, they are proficient in basic mathematics, reading and writing and the test scores of bear that out.” 

Robinson added “We are failing our children on that end” when it comes to the reading component, which he says is possibly the “most important component” of education.  

“If you can read proficiently, you can just about teach yourself how to do anything else,” said Robinson. “If you can’t, you’re setting yourself up for failure. And so when we talk about reserving grades one through five for reading, writing and mathematics, we don’t mean pushing everything [else] out. We mean having a strong focus on those three things during those five years.” 

On the topic of a potential run for governor in 2024, Robinson said it’s a possibility. 

“We’re looking at it, but we’re not there yet,” said Robinson. “When we get there, we’ll let everybody know.” 

 “I’ve gained confidence of many people across the state who have urged me to run,” Robinson said, adding they “considering it a great deal.” 

The likely Democratic candidate Robinson may face in 2024 if he decides to run is thought to be N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein.  

Robinson acknowledged it has been floated that Stein may be a likely opponent, but they are “not necessarily counting on that,” said that “if we decide to run and we do run, whoever our opponent is, we’re open to taking them on.” 

About A.P. Dillon 1211 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_