Insurance Commissioner, Incumbent
Mike Causey is the incumbent and Republican nominee for state insurance commissioner. Causey studied at Wake Technical Community College as well as the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he received his degrees in civil and environmental engineering. Causey received his master’s in business administration from High Point University. After college, Causey went on to work for more than 25 years in the insurance business as an agent, manager, supervisor and agency operator. Causey also served in the U.S. Army and as a military police officer. He is the first Republican insurance commissioner in the history of North Carolina. To learn more go to https://mikecauseync.com.
Wayne Goodwin is the Democratic nominee for state commissioner of insurance. Goodwin previously served as insurance commissioner from 2009 to 2017. He graduated top of his class in high school and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar. He then graduated from UNC Law School and opened his own law firm. In 1996 he was elected as N.C. House Representative for his native District 66, where he served four consecutive terms. In 2004, Goodwin unsuccessfully campaigned for N.C. labor commissioner. Following his loss for a third term as insurance commissioner in 2016, he was elected chairman of the N.C. Democratic Party. To learn more go to http://waynegoodwin.org.
Josh Dobson is the Republican nominee for N.C. labor commissioner. He currently serves as representative for the 85th N.C. House District that covers Avery, McDowell, and Mitchell counties. Dobson is a graduate of McDowell County Community College. He received his bachelor’s degree from Gardner-Webb University and his masters in public administration from Appalachian State University. Dobson served as a McDowell County Commissioner before he was appointed to his current position as state representative in 2012. During his tenure in the N.C. House, Dobson has been Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee and Health Policy Committee. He co-sponsored several passed bills such as HB463, which provided access to education for incarcerated individuals in state prisons, and HB75, which enacted several school safety protocols and diverted more funding for those areas. To learn more go to https://www.joshforlabor.com.
Jessica Holmes is the Democratic Party nominee for N.C. labor commissioner. She currently serves as a member of the Wake County Board of Commissioners and at age 36 is the youngest Wake County Commissioner in the history of the capital county. Holmes is a first-generation college student, graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with her undergraduate degree in political science and later from the UNC-CH Law School with her Juris Doctor. She took her current position as a Wake County Commissioner in 2014. Holmes is also the youngest chairperson of the Wake County Board of Commissioners, serving this post for two years. During her time as a commissioner, Holmes has received numerous awards, such as being recognized as Distinguished Alumni from both UNC-CH and UNC-CH School of Law. To learn more go to https://jessicaholmesnc.com.
Agriculture Commissioner, Incumbent
Steve Troxler is the incumbent and Republican nominee for N.C. commissioner of agriculture. Troxler has served in this role since assuming office in 2005. He is a native and resident of Guilford County. Troxler received his bachelor of science in conservation at N.C. State University in 1974. Following his schooling, Troxler started his own farming business, Troxler Farms. In 2000, Troxler campaigned for his current position but lost. He tried again in 2004 and became the first Republican state agriculture commissioner in the history of the office. In 2012, he became president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. To learn more go to https://ballotpedia.org/Steve_Troxler
Jennifer Wadsworth is the Democratic nominee for N.C. commissioner of agriculture. Wadsworth was born in Raleigh but was raised on a family farm in Johnston County. She graduated in 2007 from the N.C. School of Science and Mathematics and later graduated Magna Cum Laude from N.C. State University with majors in political science and women’s and gender studies. At age 21, she became the youngest woman elected to a position in North Carolina after being elected to the Wake County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors, where she has served for the past 10 years. If elected, Wadsworth would be the first out LGBTQ constitutional officer in North Carolina. To learn more go to https://www.jennawadsworth.com.
Tony Street is the Republican nominee for state auditor. Street is a native and resident of Brunswick County in Eastern North Carolina. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2005. He received a masters in public administration in 2014 from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He currently sits on his home district’s soil and water board, and describes himself as a “Ronald Reagan fiscal, social and moral conservative Republican.” Apart from politics, Street owns and operates his own small business, a construction company. He is also a commercial fisherman and owns a small farm in Sampson County. To learn more go to https://streetfornc.com.
Beth Wood is the incumbent and Democratic nominee for state auditor. She assumed her current post in 2009 and is the first woman state auditor in the history of North Carolina. After graduating from community college, she worked as a dental hygienist, then pursued a degree in accounting from East Carolina University and completed her test to become a Certified Public Accountant in 1987. Combined with her time as state auditor, Wood has more than 30 years of auditing experience. Before assuming her current post, she worked in both the State Auditor’s Office and State Treasurer’s Office. Wood has taught courses for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the N.C. Association of Certified Public Accountants. To learn more go to https://www.bethwoodcampaign.com.
Catherine Truitt (R)
Catherine Truitt is the Republican nominee for state superintendent of public instruction. Truitt is a 1994 graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in English and a 1997 graduate of the University of Washington with a masters in education. She taught high school English for 10 years. In 2015 she was appointed Senior Advisor on Education by McCrory, who later awarded her the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for her efforts in improving the state education system. In the few years between teaching and her appointment, Truitt worked for the International Center for Leadership in Education and served as a mentor for primary and secondary school educators. Currently, she is the chancellor for the non-profit Western Governors University of North Carolina. To learn more go to https://catherinetruitt.com.
Jen Mangrum is the Democratic nominee for state superintendent of public instruction. A native of Jacksonville in Eastern North Carolina, both of Mangrum’s parents were public school educators. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 1987 with a degree in public education. She taught second grade while working towards her master’s in early childhood education at East Carolina University, graduating in 1989. She taught 12 years for Guilford Country Public Schools in both second and third grades. In 2004 she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with her PhD in curriculum and instruction and was subsequently hired by N.C. State University to develop their Elementary Education Program. To learn more go to https://www.jenmangrumfornc.com.
Dale Folwell is the incumbent and Republican nominee for state treasurer. Folwell attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, receiving his bachelor’s in accounting in 1984 and his master’s in accounting in 1986. Following grad school, Folwell became a Certified Public Accountant. In 1993 he was elected to the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board where he served from 1993 to 2000. In 2004, Folwell mounted a successful campaign for the N.C. House of Representatives for the 74th District. He served in the N.C. General Assembly for eight years. His final term in the N.C. House he served as Speaker Pro Tempore. In 2012 he sought the Republican party nomination for lieutenant governor but lost to Dan Forest. He was elected state treasurer in 2016. To learn more go to https://www.dalefolwell.com.
Ronnie Chatterji is the Democratic party nominee for state treasurer. A resident of Durham, both of his parents are public school teachers. He received his undergraduate degree in economics from Cornell University and his PhD in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently a tenured professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Sanford School of Public Policy. During the Obama Administration, Chatterji was appointed to the White House Council of Economic Advisers as a senior economist. He is a member of Gov. Roy Cooper’s Entrepreneurial Council as well as the N.C. First Commission. Chatterji has served as a financial analyst for Goldman-Sachs. To learn more go to https://www.ronniechatterji.com.
Secretary of State
E.C. Sykes is the Republican party nominee for N.C. secretary of state. Sykes and his high school sweetheart and future wife, Susan Sykes, graduated from Northern Durham High School and then went on to attend N.C. State University. While taking evening classes to pursue his master’s in management, he worked fulltime as an engineering manager at a telecommunications company. Following grad school, Sykes became the CEO of a small manufacturer that was nationally ranked as a fast-growing company. He also was a group president and executive for a Fortune 500 company. In 2015, he began campaigning for and eventually worked for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign. To learn more go to https://ecfornc.com.
Elaine Marshall (D)
Secretary of State,
Elaine Marshall is the incumbent and Democratic nominee for N.C. secretary of state, a position she has held since 1997 and has served under five governors. Born in Maryland, Marshall attended the University of Maryland and graduated in 1968 with a bachelor of science in home economics. She received her Juris Doctor from Campbell University Law School in 1981 and worked as an associate and eventually a partner in the Harnett County-based law firm Marshall & Bain from 1985 to 1992. She represented District 17 in the N.C. Senate from 1993-96. She ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate twice – once in 2002 and once in 2010. To learn more go to https://www.elainemarshall.com.
Jim O’Neill is the Republican nominee for state attorney general. A graduate of Duke University, O’Neill currently serves as Forsyth County’s District Attorney. For the 13 years prior to his election, O’Neill was a practicing attorney after he received his Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law. During his time as the Forsyth County District Attorney, O’Neill began a number of programs, some of which have been implemented in other parts of the state. He began prosecution programs to specifically target local sex traffickers as well as violent offenders and elder abusers. To learn more go to https://www.jimoneillnc.com.
Josh Stein is the incumbent and Democratic nominee for state attorney general. Born in Washington, D.C., Stein graduated from Chapel Hill High School and attended Dartmouth University, receiving his bachelor’s in history in 1988. In 1995, Stein graduated from Harvard University Law School with his Juris Doctor and MPP in law and public policy. He served as campaign manager and deputy chief of staff for former N.C. Senator and 2004 vice presidential candidate John Edwards. From 2001 to 2008, Stein served as Senior Deputy Attorney General for Consumer Protection. In 2008, he was elected to the N.C. Senate representing the 16th N.C. Senate district. He was elected attorney general in 2016. To learn more go to https://www.joshstein.org.
Mark Robinson is the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor. Robinson is a native of Greensboro, where he attended high school and college. He was a medical specialist in the Army Reserves for three years before he graduated high school and went to N.C. A&T State University. He then attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After speaking out at a Greensboro City Council meeting, his speech was recorded and was viewed more than 150 million times, and then appeared on several segments of Fox News’ Fox and Friends. To learn more go to https://www.markrobinsonfornc.com.
Yvonne Holley is the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor. She attended William G. Enloe High School in Raleigh as one of its first African-American students. She attended Howard University and received her BA in political science and government in 1974. She worked for the N.C. Department of Administration as a state procurement officer and contract specialist before assuming her current position in the N.C. House, representing the 38th District in 2012. She served on a number of committees, including the N.C. House of Representatives Committee on Education as vice chairperson, as well as on the Committee for Regulatory Reform, also as vice chair. To learn more go to https://www.yvonnelewisholley.com.
Compiled by John Palmieri, a senior at Western Carolina University majoring in anthropology and minoring in political science and Cherokee studies, and a Sylva Herald intern.