One of the most anticipated announcements in North Carolina politics is on the path to becoming a reality. According to a video released Monday, North Carolina Lt. Governor Dan Forest is officially looking at a run for Governor in 2020.
The Facebook video, released on Forest’s campaign page, announces the formation of an exploratory committee for the North Carolina Governorship in 2020.
The announcement was also posted to the club section of Forest’s campaign website.
When asked about the themes in his announcement video, Lt. Governor Forest tells Battleground State News that given the vitriol going on in politics today, we need ‘something to rally around’.
“We need something that’s going to bring all North Carolinians together and stop this ludicrous identity politics that pits every group against another group,” said Forest.
“I don’t think that’s what the majority of North Carolinians believe by any means,” Forest said. “I think there is an opportunity for change. I think good leadership can do that.”
Forest said he believes the state can benefit from someone who has a background in business, can envision a better future for the people and set a positive tone for what we want North Carolina to be.
“I think there is a lot of positive messaging that we can do for people here in our state,” said Forest. “I think people are sick of the litigious back and forth with the governor and the General Assembly and all the battles over politics.”
Earlier on Monday, former Governor Pat McCrory told listeners on his Charlotte area radio show that Roy Cooper would be announcing his re-election campaign later this month – from New York City.
At around the 11:45 mark into the show, McCrory read an email addressed to the ‘ apparently rich people in the state’.
“I hope you’ll join us in the Governor’s re-election kickoff event on Thursday, January the 31st. The details are below and the invitation is attached,” read McCrory. “Cocktails and conversation with NC Governor Roy Cooper, Thursday, January 31st, 6:30, Union Square, New York, New York.
“He’s kicking it off in New York, New York,” said McCrory. “So we have an official confirmation that Roy Cooper is running for re-election…he mentions Lt. Governor Dan Forest in the letter and he mentions HB2, which I thought he solved.”
“But his first campaign event – his kick off announcement – is apparently going to be in New York City,” McCrory said. “I wonder if Mayor de Blasio will be there?”
If the email Pat McCrory read is true, that leaves Lt. Governor Forest in charge of North Carolina while Roy Cooper announces his re-election campaign.
— Longleaf Politics (@longleafpol) January 28, 2019
The Lt. Governor had heard of Roy Cooper’s apparent New York kick off plans and likened them to when the President of Mexico kicked off his re-election from California.
“I thought wow, what a different day that it is when a nation’s president goes to another country to kick off his campaign,” Lt. Governor Forest told Battleground State news. “It’s probably not too dissimilar here where a state’s governor has to go to another state to kick off his campaign.”
“Obviously, they are traveling around and fundraising and letting people know they are kicking their campaign off, but it’s just a little weird you do it in New York before you’d have a campaign announcement in North Carolina,” said Forest.
Dan Forest is currently serving his second term as Lt. Governor and was first elected to the office in 2012. In both elections, Forest beat Democrat Linda Coleman.
In the 2016 race, he garnered more votes than any other North Carolina Council of State member – including current Governor Roy Cooper.
The Lt. Governor role includes serving as the President of the North Carolina Senate and being a voting member of the State Board of Education and the State Board of Community Colleges.
Forest is currently a member of the NC Advisory Commission on Military Affairs and the Food Manufacturing Task Force.
Lt. Governor Forest also serves as Chairman of the Energy Policy Council, and the Board of Post Secondary Credentials.
Before he ran for the office of Lt. Governor, Dan Forest was the Office President and Senior Partner of the state’s largest architectural firm and is now an Architect Emeritus.
Forest and his wife, Alice, live in the Raleigh area. Alice Forest is a graduate of Shelby High and UNC Charlotte and for the last seventeen years has homeschooled their four children, who range in age from 13 to 25.
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