RALEIGH, N.C.(WNCN) – Another democrat has thrown their hat in the ring for North Carolina’s gubernatorial race.

Justice Michael “Mike” Morgan, former Senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, announced his run for governor on Tuesday.

Morgan announced he was stepping down from the NC Supreme Court in September, last month. There had been rumblings that he was considering a run for governor.

Morgan pointed to his 44 years of public service to the state, with 34 years as a judge, in his announcement. Along with serving on the Supreme Court, Morgan served as a North Carolina administrative law judge, a district court judge in Wake County, and a superior court judge.

“To those who say that I am a late entry into the Governor’s race, I simply answer that I have been responsibly and successfully completing my work on the Supreme Court and can now devote all of my attention and energy to running for Governor,” said Morgan. 

The former judge could face a steep battle as he goes head-to-head with Attorney General Josh Stein. Gov. Roy Cooper announced his endorsement of Stein in August saying the attorney general was ready to do the job as governor.

In July, Stein’s campaign reported they’d already raised more than $11.2 million this election cycle. They reported raising $5.98 million in the first half of 2023. The campaign said 75 percent of contributions were $100 or less.

Morgan said in this announcement he was committed to challenging the “‘status quo that allows a few at the top to choose the winners and losers among us”.

“My vision is to provide all North Carolinians with fair opportunities in which they may thrive and succeed. I am running on a platform that calls for a change to the system that allows the working people, children, and families of North Carolina to be ignored and taken for granted,”

Michael “Mike” Morgan

Facing off in the Republican primary are state treasurer Dale Folwell, Lt. Governor Mark Robinson, former congressman Mark Walker. The first of two debates is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Sept. 12.