Former North Carolina state Sen. Ben Clark running for lieutenant governor in 2024

May 26, 2023 GMT

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Former North Carolina state Sen. Ben Clark has added his name to the list of candidates for lieutenant governor in 2024.

The Democrat, who served five terms in the General Assembly through last year, formally entered the race last week. He said he’d be a lieutenant governor “who will represent everyone” if elected.

Current Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is running for governor next year.

Clark represented Hoke and Cumberland counties in the Senate. He ran for Congress in 2022 and lost to GOP Rep. Richard Hudson in the 9th District.

Clark, a former Air Force officer who is now a military information technology contractor at Fort Bragg, lamented the overall tenor in the country and state.

“This ‘us vs. them’ approach to government is divisive, and it threatens our peace and prosperity,” Clark told The Fayetteville Observer in a recent interview.

Clark joins state Sen. Rachel Hunt, of Charlotte, and others seeking the Democratic nomination. Republican hopefuls include state Rep. Jeffrey Elmore, of Wilkes County, and Hal Weatherman, a former aide to previous Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. Primaries will be held in March.

Chris Rey, a former mayor of Spring Lake who had also announced his candidacy months ago for the Democratic nomination, told the newspaper he’s no longer running.

The lieutenant governor, who runs separately from the governor on the ballot, presides over state Senate debate, voting only during ties. The lieutenant governor sits on a few governing boards, including the State Board of Education and the State Board of Community Colleges.