Bringing The World Home To You

© 2024 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton 94.1 Lumberton 99.9 Southern Pines 89.9 Chadbourn
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

North Carolina Gov. Cooper endorses fellow Democrat Josh Stein to succeed him

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper poses for a portrait at the Governor's mansion on Wed., Aug. 17, 2022.
Kate Medley
for WUNC
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper poses for a portrait at the Governor's mansion on Wed., Aug. 17, 2022.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper formally endorsed Attorney General Josh Stein to succeed him, saying Wednesday that the fellow Democrat would build upon Cooper's efforts to improve public schools, health care and the state's economy.

The endorsement by Cooper, who is barred from seeking a third consecutive term in 2024, is hardly unexpected. Stein served as head of Cooper's consumer protection division for several years when Cooper was attorney general himself. And when Stein announced his bid for governor in January, Cooper said Stein has “been an excellent Attorney General for North Carolina.”

“Term limits prevent me from running again, but I know he will double down on the progress that we’ve made,” Cooper said in a video released on social media. “With a record of results and a clear-eyed vision for our future, Josh is ready to do this job.”

Next year’s gubernatorial campaign in North Carolina is expected to be among the most closely watched and expensive in the nation. While Republicans have controlled the General Assembly since 2011, they’ve only resided in the Executive Mansion for four years in the last 30.

Stein so far has essentially run alone for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, with no well-known or well-funded rivals to date. Meanwhile, Stein's campaign raised $6 million in the first half of the year.

Cooper's endorsement signals support from the party's establishment and could make any other potential Democrats think twice before getting in.

State Supreme Court Associate Justice Michael Morgan, a registered Democrat who has announced he's stepping down from the court early next month, said in June that he was weighing a 2024 bid for governor.

Primaries are scheduled for March. Republicans have a full plate of gubernatorial candidates, including Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, State Treasurer Dale Folwell, former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, ex-state legislator Andy Wells and retired health care executive Jesse Thomas.

Cooper's 90-second video endorsement mentioned how he hired Stein to lead the division when he became attorney general in 2001. Stein later joined the state Senate and was elected attorney general in 2016, succeeding Cooper when he was elevated to governor.

“Josh leads with integrity and grit,” Cooper said, citing Stein's efforts to fight opioid abuse, protect the public from scammers and help make communities safe and the justice system more fair.

Stein said that he's “immensely grateful” for Cooper's support and praised the governor's record on things like expanding Medicaid and clean-energy production.

Cooper's campaign committee emailed supporters later Wednesday asking them for donations to support Stein's bid.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.
More Stories