Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest announced today that he’s forming an exploratory committee to look at a run for governor. Which, yeah, we kinda figured.
Forest, who is term-limited in his current role, was expected to run for governor in 2020. Former governor Pat McCrory is also reportedly weighing a run for either Senate or governor in the future.
Earlier this month, a poll by Public Policy Polling predicted McCrory would be the most formidable Republican opponent for Governor Cooper. The poll predicted Cooper would beat McCrory 45–41, and Forest by a much more decisive 47–35. Forest, a theocrat who has allied himself with President Trump (and took money from a weird church that likes to beat the devil out of its congregants), seems to have the president’s backing. Trump called him “very talented” and said “everyone’s talking about him” while signing an executive order in Charlotte, which proves little more than that Trump knows nothing about North Carolina politics.
Forest announced his exploratory committee in a video beginning with footage of protests—including clashes between white supremacists and anti-racists at the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally. (“Some very fine people on both sides,” right, Dan?) In a voice-over, Forest says that “our culture values division over unity” and that “incivility” has replaced “common decency.”
Yeah. About that.
Forest has served as lieutenant governor, a largely meaningless position, since 2013. He’s probably best known as a full-throated champion of the LGBTQ-hating statewide embarrassment House Bill 2. He claimed that “transgenderism is a feeling” and perpetuated debunked claims that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity (rather than their birth certificate, as the now-repealed law required) would make it easier for sexual predators to victimize people.
All that came after NC Policy Watch called him “almost certainly the most conservative Lt. Governor in decades and quite likely the most conservative statewide elected official in North Carolina, period.”
When a federal judge struck down North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage, he called it “judicial tyranny.” Forest backed a bill allowing magistrates to refuse to marry gay couples, because Jesus, and supported a seventy-two-hour waiting period before a woman can obtain an abortion, because those little ladies need to have themselves a good think before they make such important choices.
More recently you may recall his October video decrying “rampant” voter fraud—as a rationale for voter ID, of course—and then instructing viewers on how to commit it.