North Carolina’s first open gubernatorial town-hall style debate of 2024 took place Monday evening February 5th. The debate was sponsored and hosted by the North Carolina Forward Party with support of the North Carolina and Mecklenburg County Libertarian Parties. The North Carolina Forward Party and Libertarian Party share a common concern with the breakdown of good faith governance and decision making in American politics and believe the two-party system is failing due to a preoccupation with staying in office, which has resulted in gridlock and little progress in addressing our most pressing issues.

This debate was the first of what the NC Forward party promises to be a series of many more open debates for ALL candidates running for office. The debate was held at Camino Church in North Charlotte with ample parking, a large auditorium and a well-lit stage with a great audio/video system. A respectably large audience was in attendance for this first-of-its-kind event where the following five gubernatorial candidates volunteered to take their questions:

  • Dale Folwell (Republican)
  • Mike Ross (Libertarian)
  • Mike Morgan (Democrat)
  • Shannon Bray (Libertarian)
  • Wayne Turner (Green)

The debate moderator was Barbara Gaskins, herself a recent candidate for office, who handily kept the proceedings organized, timed and on point. Each of the candidates were
prepared, well spoken and professionally brought their wide range of viewpoints & ideas to the audience for each of their questions. Those questions touched on several current issues such as immigration, education, election integrity, gerrymandering and a host of other citizen concerns.

At the end of the debate, each of the candidates posed together for pictures on the debate stage while those in attendance were also given the opportunity to vote in a post-debate straw poll for their ranked-choice favorites (first, second, third and so-forth). The results of that poll had Mike Ross (Libertarian) first, Mike Morgan second and Dale Folwell coming in third.

-Carl Carter – LPMeck At-Large Committee Member

NC gubernatorial debate 2024