Raleigh, N.C. — Four Democrats are vying to face Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Forest in November.
The most familiar name of the four is Linda Coleman, who narrowly lost to Forest in 2012. The former Wake County commissioner, state lawmaker and state personnel director is focusing her campaign on restoring cuts to education funding.
Another candidate who's won several endorsements is Holly Jones, a Buncombe County commissioner and former Asheville city commissioner. Jones is running on a platform of defending local governments from state government overreach and expanding clean energy in the state.
Ronald Newton is a tax attorney and financial adviser who teaches at Durham Technical Community College. He's worked on many campaigns over the years, but has not held public office before. He's running on issues ranging from environmental concerns to fighting poverty and expanding Medicaid.
The final candidate is retired Assistant Secretary of State Robert Wilson, who worked in various roles in state government for 30 years but has not held elected office. His campaign issues include expanding the port at Wilmington, expanding Medicaid and raising the minimum wage.
In previous primary elections, if no single candidate won more than 40 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters would compete in a runoff. But state lawmakers have eliminated runoffs this year because North Carolina will need to hold a second primary in June for the redrawn congressional districts. That means whoever brings in the most votes by March 15 will win the nomination outright.