Maryland Gov. Wes Moore to stump for Democrat in NC governor’s race

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) will stump Tuesday for Democratic candidate Josh Stein in the high-stakes gubernatorial race in North Carolina.

Stein, the state’s attorney general, faces Republican North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson in November. The two are battling to succeed the term-limited Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.

The closely-watched race is expected to be one of the most competitive governor’s contests in the country this fall. The nonpartisan election handicapper Cook Political Report last month shifted the seat from “lean Democrat” to “toss up,” noting Robinson’s big fundraising numbers.

Polling averages from Decision Desk HQ/The Hill show the two candidates in a dead heat, separated by less than a percentage point.

Moore beat Republican challenger Dan Cox in 2022 to become Maryland’s first Black governor and succeed exiting Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

Cox was endorsed by former President Trump and an outspoken 2020 election denier. In North Carolina, Stein also is facing a controversial Republican rival.

Robinson, the first Black lieutenant governor in the state and a Trump ally, has come under scrutiny in recent months for comments on a range of topics, including civil rights and women’s issues. Democrats have labeled both Trump and Robinson “MAGA extremists.”

But the North Carolina GOP lashed out at both Stein and Moore after the news that the Maryland governor would be campaigning in the Tar Heel State.

“North Carolina voters can see a preview of what a Josh Stein administration would look like when Maryland’s far-left radical Governor comes to our state,” said the state GOP’s communications director, Matt Mercer, in a statement.

Cooper, North Carolina’s outgoing governor, won as a Democrat in both 2016 and 2020, when Trump carried the state. There are questions about whether voters could send a message with another split-ticket vote this year, though Cooper has said he thinks the state is in play for President Biden.

—Updated at 1:09 p.m.

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