As expected, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has announced that he'll run for governor next year. That makes him the first prominent North Carolina Republican to challenge Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, though there are some other potential candidates who could yet join him.
Forest has telegraphed his interest in seeking a promotion for almost a year, but he most recently made headlines for delivering a hate-fueled sermon in which he warned, "[N]o other nation, my friends, has ever survived the diversity and multiculturalism that America faces today, because of a lack of assimilation, because of this division, and because of this identity politics."
Forest also declared that "no other nation has ever been founded on the principles of Jesus Christ," which, well, no. America, as the First Amendment makes quite explicit, enshrines no religion into law, while plenty of other countries, as ThinkProgress' Josh Israel pointed out, are in fact officially Christian.
Of course, this kind of Civics 101 is rejected by fact-denying fundamentalists like Forest, but his attitudes may not serve him well in a general election. Cooper was able to squeak out a 0.2% victory in 2016 not least because his Republican opponent, Gov. Pat McCrory, had vocally supported North Carolina's notorious "bathroom bill." That anti-LGBTQ legislation sparked a fierce backlash and threats of widespread boycotts, ultimately costing McCrory at the ballot box. If Forest wants to cast himself in a similar role as conservative crusader, he might just experience a similar outcome.
P.S. It's early, but a poll from Democratic pollster PPP found Cooper leading Forest 45-41 last month, while a separate survey from a Republican outfit, Harper Polling, actually had Cooper ahead by an even wider 47-37 margin.