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Old Gold & Black

'Covers the campus like the magnolias'
"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

"Covers the campus like the magnolias"

Old Gold & Black

Candidate Roundup: A voter’s guide to the 2024 North Carolina state-wide primaries

The Old Gold & Black explains the 10 state-wide offices and the candidates running for office
“While we’re no Schoolhouse Rock, hopefully you have all the tools you need to head triumphantly to the ballot box this coming Tuesday, March 5.” (Courtesy of MoCo360)

As the North Carolina primary election on March 5 quickly approaches, understanding the 10 state-wide offices and 63 candidates may feel daunting. The Old Gold & Black is here to provide a short-ish guide to the 2024 North Carolina primary elections and the individuals running for state offices. 


What is a primary election? 

In the United States, primary elections are preliminary elections to choose a party conference or a principle election’s delegates. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, North Carolina’s primaries are open to unaffiliated voters, meaning that individuals registered to vote but not with a particular party may choose to vote in the party primary of their choice. However, unlike an open primary, voters registered with a party can not vote in another party’s primary. 

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This year, 10 state executive offices are up for election — governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, auditor, treasurer, superintendent of public instruction, labor commissioner, insurance commissioner and agriculture commissioner.



The governor serves as the state manager and is responsible for overseeing the state executive branch. The individual in this office implements state laws and programs and “serves as the intergovernmental liaison to the federal government on behalf of the state,” according to the National Governors Association

The current governor is Democrat Roy Cooper, who has served in the role since 2017. He will not be running for reelection because he has reached the limit of two consecutive terms in office. 

The Democratic primary candidates are Chrelle Booker, Gary W. Foxx, Mike Morgan, Marcus Williams and current Attorney General Josh Stein. The Republican primary candidates are State Treasurer Dale Folwell, Bill Graham and current Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson. 

The gubernatorial race also has two minority party candidates. Shannon Bray and Mike Ross will be running under the Libertarian party. 


Lieutenant Governor

The lieutenant governor is the state executive’s second in command and is the only elected official with authority in both the legislative and executive state branches, according to nc.gov. This individual presides over the North Carolina Senate and is a member of the Council of State, Board of Education, Capital Planning Commission and the Board of Community Colleges. 

Robinson is the current lieutenant governor and is running for governor, much like former Lt. Governor and former gubernatorial candidate Dan Forest did in 2020. 

Ben Clark and Rachel Hunt are the Democratic primary candidates. There are 11 Republican primary candidates — Deanna Ballard, Peter Boykin, Rivera Douthit, Jeffrey Elmore, Marlenis Hernandez Novoa, Allen Mashburn, Jim O’Neill, Sam Page, Ernest Reeves, Hal Weatherman and Seth Woodall


Attorney General 

The attorney general’s main responsibility is to represent state government departments, agencies and commissions in legal matters. This person gives legal opinions to public officials, including the governor and the General Assembly. 

Democrat Josh Stein is the current attorney general, and he is running for governor in this year’s primary. 

The Democratic primary candidates are Satana Deberry, Tim Dunn and Congressman Jeff Jackson. The Republican primary was canceled and Congressman Dan Bishop advanced. 


Secretary of State

The secretary of state for North Carolina is the head of the Department of the State, which oversees the state government’s economic and business operations. They are also a member of the Council of State.

Democrat Elaine Marshall is the current secretary of state and the 2024 Democratic primary candidate, as the Democratic primary was canceled. However, the Republican primary has three candidates: Chad Brown, Jesse Thomas and Christine Villaverde



The office of the North Carolina auditor has an important role in regulating the use of public funds, ensuring agencies and departments are complying with the law and spending appropriately. 

Following the indictment and resignation of former auditor Beth Wood, Democrat Jessica N. Holmes was appointed by the governor to serve out the remainder of Wood’s term. 

Similar to the primary for secretary of state, the Democratic primary for auditor was canceled and Holmes advanced. Dave Boliek, Jack Clark, Charles Dingee, Jim Kee, Anthony Wayne Street and Jeff Tarte are the six Republican candidates running for office. 



The treasurer of North Carolina’s main responsibility is to oversee the state’s finances. This individual is responsible for the state pension, healthcare plans, investments and unclaimed property. 

Republican Dale Folwell is the current treasurer, and he is running as a Republican for North Carolina governor. 

The Democratic primary candidates are Gabriel Esparza and Wesley Harris. The three Republican primary candidates are Brad Briner, A.J. Daoud and Rachel Johnson


Superintendent of Public Instruction

This office is responsible for serving as the head of the Department of Public Instruction and supervising the public school system. 

Republican Catherine Truitt currently holds this office, and she is running for reelection in the Republican primary alongside Michele Morrow. Three Democratic primary candidates are running for the office — Kenon Crumble, C.R. Katie Eddings and Mo Green


Insurance Commissioner 

The North Carolina Department of Insurance, which the insurance commissioner presides over, licenses insurance agents in the state and manages the insurance industry. The insurance commissioner is also a member of the Council of State and the state fire marshal. 

Republican Mike Causey currently holds the position and is running for reelection against Robert Brawley and Andrew Marcus in the Republican primary. The Democratic primary candidates are Natasha Marcus and David Wheeler


Commissioner of Agriculture 

Alongside being the head of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Commissioner of Agriculture is also a member of the Council of State. This individual works to enforce health and safety regulations and improve the state’s agriculture, agribusiness and forests.

The current commissioner of agriculture, Steve Troxler, will face Colby Hammonds in the Republican primary. The Democratic primary was canceled and Sarah Taber advanced. Sean Haugh advanced as the Libertarian candidate, as the primary was canceled. 


Commissioner of Labor 

North Carolina’s commissioner of labor is responsible for promoting the “health, safety, and general well-being” of the state’s workforce through overseeing the North Carolina Department of Labor. This individual is also a member of the Council of State. 

Republican Josh Dobson is the current commissioner of labor, and he is not running for reelection or seeking another office. 

Similar to the Democratic primary for agriculture commissioner, the Democratic primary for labor commissioner was canceled. Braxton Winston II advanced. He will face the winner of the Republican primary, which has four candidates — Luke Farley, Jon Hardister, Chuck Stanley and Travis Wilson.  


North Carolina House of Representatives 

North Carolina has 14 House districts, and Winston-Salem is situated in the sixth congressional district. Democrat Kathy Manning currently holds this congressional seat, but she is not running for reelection following the drawing of new district maps. 

No candidates filed for the Democratic race, so the primary was canceled. Six candidates are running in the Republican primary race — Christian Castelli, Mary Ann Contogiannis, Bo Hines, Addison McDowell, Jay Wagner and Mark Walker


The Old Gold & Black will continue to report on the 2024 North Carolina elections.

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About the Contributor
Maddie Stopyra
Maddie Stopyra, Editor-in-Chief
Maddie is a junior from Rural Hall, N.C. majoring in English and minoring in journalism and psychology. Outside of the OGB, she is also a member of the campus a cappella group Minor Variation. In her free time, you can find her reading novels and going to coffee shops with friends.

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    JohnMar 5, 2024 at 11:38 am

    Excellent, thank you