Mar 8, 2024 - News

N.C. Chamber warns 2 GOP candidates could harm state's business climate

Photo illustration of the North Carolina State Capitol over a divided red and blue background with elements of ballots.

Photo illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Rolf Schulten/Getty Images

The North Carolina Chamber, one of the state's most pro-business lobbying groups, is expressing concerns about some results in the GOP primaries.

State of play: The chamber warned in a blog post the day after the primaries that electing potentially extremist candidates (on either side of the aisle) could create a chaotic environment for businesses operating in the state.

The big picture: North Carolina was named the top state for business the past two years by CNBC.

What they're saying: "Moderating voices in each caucus will be replaced with partisan ideologues that cause division and create controversy," the chamber wrote. "This not only creates a more volatile environment for our state, but also makes it more difficult for complex, challenging issues to be resolved."

Context: The chamber invested around $200,000 into nine races during the primary. Only five chamber-backed candidates won.

  • In particular, the NC Chamber expressed concerns about the outcomes in the GOP primaries for state superintendent of public instruction and labor commissioner.

Catch up quick: Incumbent State Superintendent Catherine Truitt — whom the chamber said it has worked well with — was upset in the GOP primary by Michele Morrow, a former nurse who homeschools her children and has urged people not to send their kids to public schools.

  • In the race for labor commissioner, Jon Hardister, the current N.C. House whip, lost to Luke Farley, whom the chamber described as a "far-right candidate whose two main campaign platform items were banning vaccine requirements for employees and 'Making Elevators Great Again.'"

What they're saying: "Both candidates move into the general with a strong chance of holding public office and will likely further politicize two offices that are, by design, nonpartisan," the chamber warned.

  • "Each office ... are agencies the NC Chamber works with regularly and relies on to preserve our business climate and manage the state's public education and talent supply."
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