In the fight of your life

Published March 21, 2024

By Cash Michaels

This is an open letter to state Atty. General Josh Stein:

I hope you and yours are doing well, sir.

 Congratulations on an extraordinary victory in the March 5th Democratic gubernatorial primary. You outlasted four other candidates with at least 70% of the total vote. Hopefully that bodes well for you in November when you face Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson in the general election.

However, I write you this missive, sir, not to wax poetic about challenges past, but about challenges ahead.

I’ll put it bluntly - please meet with one of your Democratic opponents, retired Associate State Supreme Court Justice Michael R. Morgan, respectfully hash out any differences you two may have from the campaign, and then get him on your team for November, and beyond.

Why? For several reasons, the first being Justice Morgan’s 14% of the Democratic primary vote.

That’s 14% that you didn’t get, and it’s 14% you’ll undoubtedly need going into the November 5th general election.

I don’t know what your consultants are telling you, but from where I sit, Justice Morgan, and not you, got that 14% for a reason. Better to get that 14% in your column going forward, than to take for granted that they’re good Democrats and will vote for you anyway.

Hey, they were “good Democrats” when they voted against you. If you want them, Mike Morgan can try and get them for you. But you’ve got to show him some respect first.

That shouldn’t be too hard. You told me personally and on the record during our telephone interview for the member newspapers of the N.C. Black Publishers’ Association that you indeed, respected Mike Morgan.

Permit me to remind you:

“I want to say how much respect I have for Justice Morgan, and his decades of service to the state and our people. And I’m not going to attack any fellow Democrat because the stakes are too high for North Carolina… [W]e all have to come together because Mark Robinson is simply wrong for North Carolina, and we have to do that.”

To the best of my knowledge, you kept your word. You did not attack Justice Morgan or any of the other three Democrats running against you in the primary. And that’s laudable.

However, something did happen that Justice Morgan was not pleased with. He virtually said as much in his conciliatory post on Facebook after it was clear that he had lost the Democratic primary:

 “I congratulate Attorney General Josh Stein, along with Governor Roy Cooper, on Mr. Stein's primary election victory. The strategies which Attorney General Stein and Governor Cooper crafted, in the gubernatorial race as well as other contests on the primary ballot, were executed to perfection.”

I have not spoken to Justice Morgan about his statement, or what it means specifically. But any reporter worth his salt will tell you, he was clearly indicating that he was up against more than just your candidacy during the primary.

That’s why I suggest you two sit down, at your request, and talk. Hash things out, and then, if possible, move forward together to defeat Mark Robinson.

And if you’re successful, don’t let the relationship end there. Those of us in North Carolina’s African-American community who know Mike Morgan, and respect Mike Morgan, feel that he still has something of value to give to all of the citizens of this great state, even after 44 years of service (34 of them on the judiciary).

Clearly he thinks so, or he never would have run for governor.

Don’t take my word for it. Ask around.

Retired Justice Mike Morgan is a man of unquestionable class, dignity and integrity. He’s a man who grew up in New Bern down east during the days of segregation, and broke barriers. His father became the longtime mayor of New Bern. His mother served on the local school board.

Mike Morgan is a man of faith who, by his very history, has deep beliefs in justice, service, and bringing all people together. 

There are few leaders like him. Mike Morgan should be on your team, and in your future administration.

No, he knows absolutely nothing of this open letter of recommendation I’m making to you. But this much I do know.

Mark Robinson is not the kind of Black man my community wants to see as the state’s chief executive, or the first in history to become governor. He is a demeaning, petty and hateful human being who will only get worse given more power.

He must be stopped in November. Better to do it with a man who is well- respected and well-regarded in, and beyond the boundaries of the African-American community.

Don’t wait. Sit down and talk with Mike Morgan. Invite him to be a meaningful part of Team Stein going forward.

Such a gracious act on your part can only bring the Democratic Party closer together, and you’ll need it to be.

Because between now and November 5th, you’ll be in the fight of your life!