It looks like Mark Robinson will have to fend off a primary challenge for governor from NC's current state treasurer. Should be interesting.
For starters, the race will give us a glimpse into the dark heart of the NCGOP. Are they all batshit crazy? Does Folwell agree with Robinson that women should be subservient to men? Or could it simply be the case that establishment Republicans are okay with a token black bigot as lieutenant governor, but not as top dog?
In any case, Folwell's off to a shaky start. "Voters like candidates who attack problems, not people,” Folwell said during prepared remarks. Folwell said comments like that weren't intended to target Robinson, or any other specific politician. Robinson's spokesperson didn't respond to a request for comment.
The truth is, Republican voters actually LOVE people who attack people. That's why Robinson got elected in the first place. The GOP is lousy with divisive haters ... which is exactly who their primary voters are.
Folwell’s announcement over the weekend caused immediate ripples in state politics.
Mecklenburg County Rep. John Bradford, the only remaining Republican to represent the Charlotte area in the legislature, quickly announced he's strongly considering a run for treasurer next year, to replace Folwell.
Another prominent Republican lawmaker lamented what he sees as an all-but-guaranteed loss for Folwell, if Robinson also gets into the race.
Robeson County Sen. Danny Britt wrote on Twitter that “there is not a soul that can beat Lt. Governor Robinson in a primary. We will lose what has been a fiscally strong Treasurer who will be nothing more than a speed bump in the primary. It will be a complete stomp down.”
His tweet was “not an insult” to Folwell, Britt added. “Just facts.”
GOP insiders have said Robinson’s comments about the LGBTQ community could hurt his chances to become governor and potentially hinder North Carolina's ability to recruit businesses. Nonetheless, likely Republican voters view Robinson more favorably than other possible GOP candidates.
Despite being a political newcomer in 2020, Robinson beat numerous well known Republican politicians in that year’s primary for lieutenant governor. He easily won the nine-person race; the second-place finisher received fewer than half as many votes as Robinson.
Who do voters hate more?
The GOP primary will come down to this question: Who do GOP voters hate more, queers or blacks?
If GOP voters hate queers more, they'll vote for Robinson, who has built his appeal on demonizing gay people.
If GOP voters hate blacks more, they'll vote for Folwell because he's white and they can't stand the idea of some big ol' black dude callin' the shots.
Time will tell.