Dueling endorsements for Republican Labor Commissioner candidates

This combination photo shows State Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) and attorney Luke Farley.

RALEIGH — The two declared Republican candidates for Labor Commissioner have received endorsements from the former and current holder of the job. 

Jon Hardister, a six-term N.C. House member from Guilford County, was endorsed by current Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson last week. The two served together in the chamber. 

“Jon has the experience and skills necessary to continue the success I’ve been a part of since taking office in 2021. I hope you will join me in supporting his campaign,” Dobson said in a statement. “While my time at Labor is coming to an end, I have found a great leader to take my place and serve the citizens of North Carolina.”

Hardister complimented Dobson on his public service career, saying, “It is an honor to receive the endorsement of Commissioner Josh Dobson. Our goal will be to build on the excellent work that Josh has done to keep workers safe, strengthen our workforce, and promote job creation.” 

Prior to the endorsement announcement, Hardister said he had $280,000 on hand in the contest. 

His opponent in the race, attorney Luke Farley, had an endorsement of his own: the popular former Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry, the longest-serving commissioner in state history. 

“Serving as Commissioner of Labor was the honor of my lifetime. I spent two decades in the role and I know what it takes to succeed in the job,” said Berry in a statement.  

Farley’s campaign team leaned into the popularity of Berry, playing up the “Elevator Queen” moniker she embraced on social media. 

“No one knows the job better than she does. She left big shoes to fill, but I’ll fight every day to uphold her legacy of commonsense regulation, impartial treatment of businesses, and care for our workers,” Farley said of the endorsement. 

Rep. Ben Moss, who currently represents Moore and Richmond counties in the N.C. House, said in July he was pulling out of the race and instead will seek another term in the N.C. House. 

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Matt Mercer is the editor in chief of North State Journal and can be reached at [email protected].