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North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein launches 2024 run for governor

Stein, a Democrat who has served as the state's attorney general since 2017, denounced Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson in his campaign launch video.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein speaks at the North Carolina Department of Justice in Raleigh, N.C., in 2022.Hannah Schoenbaum / AP file

WASHINGTON — North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein announced Wednesday that he is running for governor, giving Democrats a high-profile candidate in what's expected to be a competitive contest in 2024.

Stein, 56, shared a campaign launch video on social media in which he attacked a potential Republican opponent and highlighted that his father, Adam Stein, had his office firebombed and burned to the ground when he was leading a legal battle against discrimination.

"Today, there's a different set of bomb throwers who threaten our freedoms and our future," Stein said in the three-minute video, adding that "some politicians spark division, ignite hate and fan the flames of bigotry."

The Democrat then bashed Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who Stein said "wants to tell you who you can marry, when you'll be pregnant and who you should hate."

"I'm running for governor because I believe in a very different North Carolina — one rooted in our shared values of freedom, justice and opportunity for everyone," Stein said. "And I believe the fights we choose show who we are and determine what kind of state we'll become."

Stein has been North Carolina's attorney general since 2017 and previously served as a member of the state Senate from 2009 to 2016. In May 2022, he had a minor stroke and after recovering said he felt back to normal and had no lingering effects.

Robinson, who has served as lieutenant governor since 2021, has not launched a gubernatorial bid. He has, however, expressed interest in running for the higher office.

He currently serves under Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who can't run for governor in 2024 due to term limits.