RALEIGH — With the entry of at least three statewide elected officials into the race for governor, a fifth seat on North Carolina’s Council of State will be open for both parties in the 2024 election cycle.
The Council of State is made up of 10 elected positions and meets monthly. The 10 spots are governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, agriculture commissioner, auditor, insurance commissioner, labor commissioner, secretary of state, superintendent and treasurer.
Two-term Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is term-limited from running again. The three candidates currently eyeing the Executive Mansion — Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, Attorney General Josh Stein and State Treasurer Dale Folwell — will give up their current offices to try and become the state’s chief executive.
Stein made his campaign announcement in January with a slick video announcement casting the contest as a battle between himself and Robinson, the first black lieutenant governor in state history.
Robinson has long intimated a run and scheduled an announcement at Ace Speedway in Alamance County next month.
Folwell told a hometown crowd in Forsyth County he was making his run for governor official.
While one of those three could lead the Council of State as governor, Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson announced last year he was not running for reelection to that post, making it the fifth office without an incumbent.
He stated his intent was to finish his term and focus on workforce health and safety, workforce development and try to help tone down the divisive nature of state politics.
The McDowell County Republican may not be alone in not running for reelection.
Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler, a Republican who often wins the most total votes of any candidate for office, has not ruled out a run for governor but is considered unlikely to seek the post.
Democratic State Auditor Beth Wood’s future after pleading guilty to a hit-and-run charge in Wake County Superior Court is murky as she has not announced whether she will run for another term.
The final three members of the COS — Republican Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, Democratic Secretary of State Elaine Marshall and Republican State Superintendent Catherine Truitt — have indicated they will be candidates next year.