RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein will move seamlessly into his next term after a much closer race than many may have anticipated. His race against Republican Jim O’Neil exceeded the 10,000 votes that would allow for a recount.
Stein’s office has made improvements in the enormous backlog of sexual assault kits over the last four years. He said there is still work to be done.
“We are seeing this happening all across North Carolina. We are making good progress. It’s going to take some time to work through the backlog,” Stein said.
Stein’s office will also continue work regarding the environment. That includes a suit against DuPont and Chemours over PFOAs — or, “forever chemicals” — that were found in well water near its plant outside of Fayetteville.
“The more you drink in, the more it stays in your body. And it can cause cancers and other types of problems, so I want to make sure that those companies that put those chemicals into our drinking water pay for that damage,” Stein said.
Stein is a staunch consumer advocate. He said that effort will continue, but with an increased focus on big technology companies and their access to people’s personal information.
“I want to make sure that they are not using their monopoly powers in ways that hurt North Carolina consumers,” Stein said. “And if I conclude that they do, I will not hesitate to hold them accountable either. Protecting consumers will always remain a top priority for the office. I did that work for eight years even before I was Attorney General.
“The unfortunate truth is there’s always some new scam or some new business that’s trying to cut a corner to take advantage of North Carolina consumers. And when that happens, I will aggressively enforce the law to protect the people of this state.”
Stein said the days after the election were a bit tense until the vote spread became more evident.
“When you think of how many people voted — about 5.5 million people — for it to come down to 10,000 to 15,000 votes, a very narrow margin, so definitely it was nerve-wracking. The job of the Attorney General is really basic when you get down to it,” Stein said. “It’s about protecting the people of North Carolina. It’s an incredible honor for me to be able to serve in this capacity. I love doing this work. That’s why I ran for another term and I am so grateful to the voters of North Carolina for hiring me for a second term.”