RALEIGH – Republican North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson has announced he’s throwing his hat in the ring for lieutenant governor in 2020.
— Tim Boyum (@TimBoyumTV) November 12, 2019
So it appears Johnson is running an anti-Establishment campaign. Notably, despite the tug-of-war between the legislature and governor soaking up all the headlines, Johnson has been on the front lines of the most important battles between Jones and Blount. His position is one of high exposure as a Republican leader of North Carolina’s public education department during a rash of hyper-partisan drives to agitate and smear Republicans as anti-teacher, anti-education, anti-kids. In general Johnson has taken the fire without yielding ground to activists on the Left. A former teacher himself, he assertively pushed to clean out rotten bureaucracy that inhibits the department’s true mission.
The experience lends some street cred, especially considering education seems to be an natural policy sphere for a lieutenant governor that lacks any significant constitutional power. Current Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest has been a forceful adovcate for school choice and education innovations through out his two terms in office. Also of note, with a former statewide win under his belt Johnson has something no other 2020 candidate for lieutenant governor has. That infrastructure, along with the benefits of statewide incumbency, amounts to quite the upper hand.
As such, the other candidates likely aren’t thrilled with this news. As the year draws to a close the 2020 announcements that are still on deck should come if they’re coming at all.