Forest, first GOP Lt. Gov. since 1897, wins primary to challenge North Carolina governor in November

After Super Tuesday two front runners for governor have emerged: Democrat incumbent Gov. Roy Cooper will face off against North Carolina’s Lieutenant Governor, a Republican, Dan Forest, in November.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Cooper won 87 percent of the vote against retired Army officer Ernest Reeves.

Lt. Gov. Forest won 89 percent of the vote against state Rep. Holly Grange.

Cooper was first elected in 2016 before serving as the state’s attorney general for 15 years. He also worked in the North Carolina General Assembly as a state representative and senator.

Cooper is facing a strong backlash after he vetoed the state’s 2019-2020 budget in a move that goes against Republican-led fiscal responsibility.

He’s also sought to fully expand Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans opposed.

Forest, a political novice before he was elected as lieutenant governor in 2012, helped flipped the state executive offices from blue to red with former Republican Gov. Pat McCrory.

Forest was only the second Republican to be elected to lieutenant governor since 1897; McCory was the first Republican governor since 1993.

Forests has sought to reject identity politics, which he says only seeks “to divide people and inflame public discourse.” He’s focusing on education freedom and economic opportunity through entrepreneurship and innovation.

“We have some great people in the state and really creative, innovative minds,” Forest said Tuesday night at GOP headquarters. “And we need to bring those people together. Cast a vision. Put together a plan. Put together a great team, and figure out how to go tackle those things that our state faces, and in so many ways.”

Cooper and Forest will also be on the Nov. 3 ballot with Constitution Party candidate Al Pisano and Libertarian Party candidate Steven DiFiore.

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