RALEIGH – The candidate filing period opened earlier this week meaning it’s go time for long expected candidates as well as unexpected ones. Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, for years expected to run for governor in 2020, made it official on Wednesday.
Dan Forest is campaigning on a conservative platform of school choice, low taxes, and constitutional policies that drive economic growth by way of respecting the rights of North Carolinians. His eight years as lieutenant governor have featured successful initiatives to drive innovation in education as well as spearheading legislation to proactively guard core individual rights. Forest has received the endorsement of over 50 county sheriffs across North Carolina, and you can bet they are not the ones offering sanctuary to illegal alien criminals.
Another Republican, N.C. House member Rep. Holly Grange (R-Wilmington), also filed for the race after making her intentions to run for governor this summer.
Grange is an Army Veteran who’s served in the N.C. House since 2016. Her entry into the race was curious, considering Forest was so widely expected to run. Forest is quick to assert that he has no more claim to the Republican nomination that anyone else, which is true, but the eight year head start he had as the virtual consensus Republican candidate in 2020 is what makes the Grange campaign a steep uphill battle. One, we dare say, she’s not likely to win. Could this be a warm up from which she will benefit in name ID for another statewide race? Or do some Republican factions think electing more Republican women should be a priority. Maybe she simply wants to be governor, and believes she can do it.
Whatever the case, it will be interesting to see what level of sparring will come about in these next couple months as the two work to secure voters’ confidence. Grange has been relatively quiet since announcing her intentions earlier this year, while Forest has been driving a campaign with a positive tone and made a point to disavow nasty attack ads.
Ready or not, here we go. The race to replace Governor Roy Cooper is on.