2024 North Carolina Council of State races: A complete list of candidates
In 2024, North Carolinians will have many decisions to make up and down the ballot. At the top is a U.S. Presidential race and an election for the next governor of North Carolina. Closer to the bottom will be statewide races for Council of State positions in North Carolina, from treasurer to agriculture commissioner.
Ahead of the 2024 election, WUNC is tracking candidacies in these races. While we have previously published complete lists for the races for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, the rest of the council of state races can be found below.
- John Bradford (R)
- Gabe Esparza (D)
- Wesley Harris (D)
Dale Folwell is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, so this is an open race without an incumbent for the first time since 2017. Harris and Bradford are both state representatives, while Esparza is a newcomer, a former senior official at the U.S. Small Business Administration, and a former vice president at American Express.
- Luke Farley (R)
- Jon Hardister (R)
- Travis Wilson (R)
- Braxton Winston (D)
Current labor commissioner Josh Dobson – a McDowell County Republican – announced last December that he would not seek reelection. Hardister aims to be like Dobson in going from being a state representative to serving in the council of state. Winston is a Charlotte City Council member, Farley is a Raleigh-based attorney, and Wilson is a Union County Republican who previously ran for the board of commissioners there.
- Dave Boliek (R)
- Jack Clark (R)
- AJ Daoud (R)
- Charles Dingee (R)
- Jim Kee (R)
- Louis Toledo (D)
Incumbent Democrat Beth Wood has been the state auditor since 2009 and several Republicans are aiming for her seat after she pled guilty to a hit-and-run in March. On Nov. 1, Wood said she would not seek re-election. Two days later, Toledo — a former assistant state auditor from western North Carolina — announced his candidacy.
Boliek, a UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees member, is the latest to join the race. Other candidates include Kee, a former Greensboro City Council member, former state senate and secretary of state candidate Daoud, and Clark – a CPA and legislative staffer.
- Robert Brawley (R)
- David Wheeler (D)
Wheeler has twice previously ran unsuccessfully for state senate in District 47, losing in the general election both times to Ralph Hise. Brawley served in the state house from 2013 to 2015 and was briefly the chairman of the House Finance Committee. Two-term incumbent Mike Causey has not filed for re-election.
Secretary of State
- Elaine Marshall (D – Incumbent)
- Chad Brown (R)
- Darren Eustance (R)
- John Gouch (R)
- Jesse Thomas (R)
Marshall has had this job since 1997 and is indeed seeking re-election. Should she win another term, she will serve under her sixth governor, having now been in office from Jim Hunt to Roy Cooper. Aiming to replace her are a trio of Republicans, two of which – Brown and Gouch – are from Gaston County. Eustance is the former chairman of the Wake County GOP.
Thomas — a retired health care executive who led the Medicaid plan offered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina — has never held elected office before, and switched to this race after briefly running for governor. He has also been involved with the North Carolina chapter of the Forward Party, which was founded by former U.S. presidential candidate Andrew Yang, and has been an outspoken critic of Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
- Catherine Truitt (R – Incumbent)
- Katie Eddings (D)
- Mo Green (D)
A former Johnston County teacher and education advisor to Gov. Pat McCrory, Truitt first assumed this office in 2021 and is seeking a second term. Challenging her are a pair of Democrats in Eddings, who has taught in Robeson and Lee counties, and Green, a former superintendent of Guilford County Schools.
- Steve Troxler (R - Incumbent)
- Sarah Taber (D)
Troxler announced that he is seeking a sixth term in office. Taber is a crop scientist and podcaster from Fayetteville with a large Twitter following. She recently appeared alongside North Carolina Democratic Party Chairwoman Anderson Clayton at a Bladen County event in October.
WUNC Capital Bureau Chief Colin Campbell contributed to this story.