Republican and political outsider Mark Robinson just became the first black lieutenant governor of North Carolina, defeating an opponent who has been involved in state government for 25 years.
According to unofficial results posted by the North Carolina Board of Elections, Robinson won the seat by a margin of about 3.3 percent or just shy of 178,000 votes.
Robinson’s Democratic opponent Yvonne Lewis Holley, who is also black, told local ABC11 reporter Tim Pulliam that she had conceded the race Tuesday evening.
While Holley has spent a quarter of a century in politics, Robinson entered the arena after his speech about gun rights at a Greensboro City Council meeting went viral in 2018. In the video, which has garnered more than 4 million views, Robinson slammed government officials for restricting the Second Amendment rights of peaceful and responsible citizens.
“You want to restrict my right to but a firearm and protect myself,” he said. “Law-abiding citizens … we’re the first ones taxed and the last ones considered.”
“We vilify the police and make the criminals into victims,” Robinson added. “We want our rights and we want to keep our rights, and by God, we’re going to keep them, come hell or high water.”
Robinson, whose website notes he is an Army veteran and a Christian, is also a supporter of school choice and the pro-life movement.
In North Carolina, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run separately, so Robinson will serve alongside incumbent Gov. Roy Cooper. Cooper is a Democrat, having beaten Republican challenger and current Lt. Gov. Dan Forest by about 5 percent of votes statewide.
Despite the historic nature of Robinson’s victory, major media outlets appeared to give the Republican little attention. Google and Twitter searches of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN revealed no results with Robinson’s name since before Election Day as of this writing.