|34th Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina|
January 7, 2013 –January 9, 2021
|Governor|| Pat McCrory |
|Preceded by||Walter Dalton|
|Succeeded by||Mark Robinson|
|Born||October 15, 1967|
Harrisonburg, Virginia, U.S.
|Parents||Sue Myrick (mother)|
|Education||University of North Carolina, Charlotte (BArch, MArch)|
Dan Forest (born October 15, 1967)is an American politician who served as the 34th lieutenant governor of North Carolina from 2013 to 2021. An architect by trade, he was the Republican nominee for Governor of North Carolina in the 2020 election, losing to incumbent governor Roy Cooper.
Forest was born in Harrisonburg, Virginia,and grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. His mother, Sue Myrick, was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, who represented a Charlotte-based congressional district from 1995 to 2013. Forest received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in architecture from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. An architect, Forest was a senior partner at an architectural firm in Charlotte before being elected lieutenant governor.
In 2012, in his first run for office, Forest placed first in a five-way May primary election, with 32.98% of the vote; Wake County commissioner Tony Gurley received 24.83% of the vote, Speaker Pro Tempore of the North Carolina House of Representatives Dale Folwell received 24.25% of the vote; state representative Grey Mills received 14.67% of the vote, and Arthur Jason Rich received 3.28% of the vote. –32.13%.Forest and Gurley advanced to the July 2012 second primary (runoff election), in which Forest secured the Republican nomination, defeating Gurley 67.87%
In the November 2012 general election, Forest defeated the Democratic nominee, former state representative Linda Coleman, by an extremely small margin—Forest received 2,187,728 votes (50.08%) to Coleman's 2,180,870 (49.92%). Coleman opted not to seek a recount, although the margin was small enough for her to be entitled to one. He was sworn in on January 7, 2013.
In a November 2016 rematch against Coleman, Forest was re-elected lieutenant governor, receiving 2,393,514 votes (51.81%) to Coleman's 2,093,375 votes (45.32%); Libertarian Party candidate Jacki Cole received 132,645 (2.87%).His second term began on January 1, 2017.
As lieutenant governor, Forest was the state's second-highest elected official and the president of the North Carolina Senate,as well as a member of the Council of State. Forest began a one-year term as the chairman of the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association in 2018.
Forest emphasized his fiscally conservative and socially conservative views.He was a strong supporter of North Carolina's controversial H.B. 2, state legislation that overrode an ordinance passed by the City of Charlotte that extended the protection of anti-discrimination laws to LGBT persons. Forest was also a leading supporter of proposals to adopt a state "religious freedom restoration" act, a controversial bill on religion. Forest supports the elimination of income tax and its replacement by a "consumption tax".
As lieutenant governor, Forest appeared with Trump at a rally in 2016, at which he voiced support for Trump.In a 2018 speech to the conservative think tank Civitas, Forest asserted that political issues such as climate change and gun control "really is the religion of the left" and that "the left...don't have a hope in God. They have no hope in a higher power." Forest's remarks were criticized by Democrats; state senators Paul Lowe Jr. and Mike Woodard said that the comments "only serve to insult, belittle and divide people of faith, no matter their political beliefs." In a June 2019 speech to a church, Forest stated that no nation "has survived the diversity and multiculturalism that America faces today"; the remark prompted criticism.
In mid-March 2020, Forest opposed Governor Roy Cooper's closure of bars and restriction of restaurants to take-out and delivery only on the grounds it didn't give bars and restaurants enough time to prepare,and in mid-April, Forest called for the immediate reopening of public places with non-binding guidance from state government. In June 2020, Forest announced that he was suing Governor Cooper over his coronavirus executive orders, alleging that the governor could not issue the directives without the concurrence of the Council of State. The lawsuit was later withdrawn after a loss in Superior Court.
In January 2019, Forest announced the formation of an exploratory committee to run for governor to challenge incumbent Democratic governor Roy Cooper in 2020.At the outset, Representative Mark Meadows, Chair of the House Freedom Caucus, indicated his support for Forest. In August 2019, Forest formally launched his campaign. In announcing his run, Forest denounced "socialism" and highlighted his strongly anti-abortion views. During his campaign, Forest also called for an expanded state-funded school voucher program for which all North Carolinians, irrespective of income, would be eligible, making this proposal a centerpiece of his campaign.
In the Republican primary election in March 2020, Forest won the party's nomination, defeating state Representative Holly Grange of New Hanover by a broad margin.
Although the race for governor in North Carolina occurred in an important swing state, attention to the campaign was largely overshadowed by the 2020 coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.In late March 2020, Cooper issued a stay-at-home directive and ordered the temporary closure of nonessential businesses to control the spread of the virus, beginning a phased, multi-step reopening in early May 2020 tied to benchmarks. By contrast, Forest suggested that the dangers of the virus to most Americans had been exaggerated and echoed "Liberate" protesters. Forest incorrectly claimed that influenza had killed more North Carolinians in 2020 than the coronavirus. In September 2020, Forest said that, if elected, he would immediately reopen all K-12 public schools for in-person learning. When asked whether K-12 students returning to school should wear masks, Forest said, "I don't think so, I don't think there's any science that backs that up. That's my personal opinion."
In April 2020, the Forest campaign said it had given nearly $200,000 from the gubernatorial campaign fund for COVID-19 economic assistance in North Carolina.Forest also asserted that COVID-19-related restrictions were being used by "the left" to hurt the church. During the pandemic, Forest met in close contact with others without wearing a face mask, in contravention of social distancing guidelines; he dismissed criticism as "ludicrous" and "stupid leftist talk."
On November 3, 2020, Cooper defeated Forest by 4.51% in the general election
Following his loss, Forest has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the 2022 North Carolina Senate race to fill the seat currently held by Senator Richard Burr who will not be running for re-election.
|North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Republican Primary Election, 2012|
|Republican||Arthur Jason Rich||25,206||3.28|
|North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Republican Primary Runoff Election, 2012|
|North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Election, 2012|
|North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Election, 2016|
|North Carolina Governor Election, 2020|
Walter H. Dalton is an American attorney and politician who served as the 33rd Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina. A member of the Democratic Party, he served six terms in the state senate before his election to the office of lieutenant governor in 2008.
Roy Asberry Cooper III is an American attorney and politician serving as the 75th and current Governor of North Carolina since 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he previously served as the 49th Attorney General of North Carolina from 2001 to 2016. Prior to that, he served in the North Carolina General Assembly in both the House of Representatives (1987–1991) and Senate (1991–2001).
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Mark Keith Robinson is an American politician serving as the 35th and current Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina since 2021. A member of the Republican Party, he is the first African American to hold the office. After defeating Democratic nominee Yvonne Lewis Holley in the 2020 lieutenant gubernatorial election, he succeeded Republican Dan Forest, who had made an unsuccessful run for the governorship against incumbent Democrat Roy Cooper.
| Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina |
|Party political offices|
| Republican nominee for Governor of North Carolina |