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Attorney general’s request moves candidates in filing process

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(The Center Square) – In a late Sunday evening post to social media, David Wheeler says he’ll withdraw from the North Carolina election race to be insurance commissioner because the attorney general has asked a state lawmaker to file.

Wheeler, a Democrat from Spruce Pine, filed Dec. 5 and had campaigned since the spring.

His post read, “Friends – I’ve been working hard since March to beat @ratehikemike Causey. I’ve exposed him as a terrible pol, corrupt executive, and a deadbeat dad. Tonight I learned @JoshStein_ has asked Sen Natasha Marcus to run for Commish of DOI. As such, I’ll withdraw on Tuesday.”

The Iowa native and business entrepreneur added a thank you to supporters and wrote, “I met a lot of great folks over the last 9 months & would’ve beat Causey to a pulp in Nov. But the powers in Raleigh that backed me all of 2023 decided differently in the last week. Such is life in politics.”

Attorney General Josh Stein, who has the backing of Gov. Roy Cooper, said in January he would be in the Democratic primary for governor March 5. He did not file in the first week.

State Sen. Natasha Marcus, D-Mecklenburg, is a New York native and confirmed in a statement late Monday morning she will file on Tuesday. She’s a lawyer by trade, as are Stein and Cooper. She was first elected in November 2018 and won reelection in 2020 and 2022, each of the three races by resounding differences no closer than 13%. Her district is mostly northwestern Charlotte, extending from the airport to an area between Lake Norman and Kannapolis.

Marcus did not file during the first week open to candidates, and had not declared intent on social media.

Wheeler has lost two state Senate races to Republican Ralph Hise – in November 2020 by 68.4%-31.6%, and in November 2018 by 62.3%-37.7%.

In his 2024 Candidate Connection answers with Ballotpedia, Wheeler said his three key campaign messages were no insurance rate hikes, helping North Carolinians get the insurance benefits they paid for, and fairness to all North Carolinians.

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