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Messy NC-GOV GOP Primary Turns to Litmus Tests and Name-Calling, as Newcomer Bill Graham Faces Scrutiny for Past Trump Criticism

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Messy NC-GOV GOP Primary Turns to Litmus Tests and Name-Calling, as Newcomer Bill Graham Faces Scrutiny for Past Trump Criticism

New reporting details how North Carolina’s GOP primary for governor is shaping up to be a race defined by extreme positions and rigid litmus tests, instead of who can best address the issues that North Carolina’s working families care about most.

Since launching his campaign earlier this year, Lt. Governor Mark Robinson’s dangerous rhetoric and fringe conspiracy theories have sparked worries among North Carolina Republicans.

Now, he faces a primary challenge from attorney Bill Graham, who has come out swinging against Robinson rather than answer for a record of questioning Donald Trump’s legal theories that threatens to alienate GOP primary voters. Asked about Graham’s criticism of the former president, his campaign manager described the GOP frontrunner as “Hershel Walker, minus the Heisman trophy and successful professional football career,” who risks “fumbling away the game and losing the governor’s race to Democrats next November.”

As The Messenger notes, “This dynamic is a microcosm of the larger question facing the Republican Party: More conservative, Trump-aligned candidates can win Republican primaries but often struggle to win over a broader general election audience outside the reddest states.”

“North Carolina’s GOP gubernatorial primary is shaping up to be one of the messiest and most expensive in the country,” said DGA National Press Secretary Devon Cruz. “But instead of competing to prove who will deliver on the issues that are front and center for North Carolina families, it’s a multimillion-dollar race to the bottom that will be decided by extreme stances and partisan litmus tests — during which time North Carolinians will have ample opportunity to see just how wrong for their state both of these candidates really are.”

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