Trump endorses Mark Robinson for governor of North Carolina, comparing him to MLK.

Raleigh — Trump fulfilled his months-long promise by endorsing North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson for governor. Trump compared Black Robinson to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. at a Greensboro rally Saturday. Trump called Robinson “Martin Luther King on steroids.” Trump told Robinson, “I think you’re better than Martin Luther King,” and he wasn’t sure how to answer. I see you as two Martin Luther Kings.”

Robinson is among Trump's recommended candidates for Tuesday's North Carolina Republican primary, claiming “they have my complete and total endorsement.” The GOP primary ballot also has Trump's attempt to destroy former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, his last opposition.

Without a formal endorsement, the ex-president's support, funding, and GOP base popularity have made Robinson the GOP's gubernatorial frontrunner.

Robinson's primary opponents, State Treasurer Dale Folwell and trial attorney Bill Graham, have doubted his potential to win the November general election due to his harsh views on LGBTQ+ rights and other matters.

Trump dubbed Robinson, who spoke at Saturday's event, a “incredible gentleman” and “great, natural speaker.” Trump vaguely recalls how Robinson became famous after a 2018 Greensboro City Council statement supporting gun rights and cops went viral. In his first election, Robinson became the state's first Black lieutenant governor in 2020 and joined the National Rifle Association board.

Robinson, from Greensboro, said in a press release that he was “humbled” by Trump's endorsement and looked forward to working with him to “lead our united Republican ticket to victory in November, and get our state and country back on track.”

Tuesday will also choose the Democratic governor nominee. The field includes Attorney General Josh Stein and former California Supreme Court Associate Justice Mike Morgan. Term-limited Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper backed Stein months ago.

State Democratic Party Chair Anderson Clayton expected the endorsement. Her news release stated that Robinson would “prioritize job-killing culture wars that take our state backward” and North Carolina does not need him. Statewide elections in the ninth-largest state are generally tight.

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