Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, will face off with Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, a Republican, in the general election for governor in November after both men easily dominated their primary contests Tuesday.
According to complete, unofficial results from the North Carolina State Board of Elections, Forest had 89% of the votes in the Republican primary to Rep. Holly Grange’s 13%. In the Democratic primary, Cooper had 87% of the votes. He was on primary ballots versus frequent candidate Ernest T. Reeves of Greenville, who had 13% of votes.
In his victory speech Tuesday night at state GOP headquarters, Forest talked about unifying North Carolinians and running a positive campaign this fall against Cooper.
“We live in a very divisive time politically,” Forest said. “It’s time to bring all North Carolinians together and do away with identity politics.”
“We have the No. 1 opportunity in the country to defeat an incumbent governor,” Michael Whatley, chairman of the N.C. Republican Party, said Tuesday night. “We’re absolutely going to send Gov. Cooper back home where he belongs.”
RGA Chairman Texas Governor Greg Abbott released the following statement on Forest's victory:
“Dan Forest’s focus on innovative strategies to foster economic growth, expand educational opportunities, and promote individual liberties makes him the clear choice to lead North Carolina toward a brighter future. Lt. Governor Forest’s inspiring message of unity and unleashing the potential of every North Carolinian is resonating with voters across the state. The RGA congratulates Dan Forest on his victory, and looks forward to helping elect him as the next governor of the great state of North Carolina.”