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Dan Forest (born October 15, 1967) is an American businessman and politician who currently serves as the 34th lieutenant governor of North Carolina, since 2013. A Republican, Forest is an architect by trade. Prior to his run for lieutenant governor, he was the Senior Partner and Office President of North Carolina's largest architectural firm, Little Diversified Architectural Consulting. Forest lives in Wake County with his wife, Alice, and his four children.[1]

Dan Forest
Dan Forest in 2018.jpg
34th Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina
Assumed office
January 7, 2013
GovernorPat McCrory
Roy Cooper
Preceded byWalter Dalton
Personal details
Born (1967-10-15) October 15, 1967 (age 51)
Harrisonburg, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Alice Forest
ParentsSue Myrick (Mother)
EducationUniversity of North Carolina,
(BArch, MArch)
WebsiteGovernment website


Early life and educationEdit

Forest was born to parents Sue Myrick and Jim Forest. His mother, Sue, is a former Mayor of Charlotte and a Former member of the United States House of Representatives. He attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he obtained two degrees in architecture. Forest has served on the UNC Charlotte College of Architecture Advisory Board. Forest is also a former Chair of Wake Forest Pregnancy Support Services and The Triangle Leadership Forum in Raleigh.

Forest is Christian.

2012 and 2016 electionsEdit

Campaign video of Dan Forest, candidate for Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina, explaining why he believes the 2012 election is important.

In 2012, in his first run for office, Forest placed first (with a 67,000 vote margin of victory) in a crowded May primary election, which included Speaker Pro Tempore of the North Carolina House of Representatives Dale Folwell, Representative Gray Mills, and Wake County Commissioner Tony Gurley. Forest went on to defeat Gurley in a July 17 runoff election, winning 96 of 100 counties, to become the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor.[2]

In November, Forest defeated former State Representative Linda Coleman in the general election for lieutenant governor. After a provisional ballot recount, Forest's margin of victory was only about 7,000 votes, or .16%.[3] Upon his swearing-in on January 7, 2013,[4][5] Forest became the first Republican lieutenant governor since James Carson Gardner left office in 1993, and only the second Republican elected to the office since 1897.

Forest was re-elected lieutenant governor on November 8, 2016 in a rematch against Coleman, winning by over 300,000 votes. He garnered more votes than the winning presidential candidate and both candidates for governor. His second term began on January 1, 2017, when he became the first lieutenant governor of the state to serve with two different governors (Gov. Pat McCrory having lost his bid for reelection to Roy Cooper). Forest also is the first Republican to ever be re-elected to the position.

Lt. Governor of North Carolina (2013-present)Edit

As Lt. Governor, Forest is President of the North Carolina Senate. Forest also serves as a voting member of the State Board of Education, chairing the Special Committee on Digital Technology, and the State Board of Community Colleges. He is also Chair of the Energy Policy Council, tasked with exploring energy sources for the state, and serves as a member of the NC Advisory Commission on Military Affairs and the Food Manufacturing Task Force.

During his tenure as lt. governor, Forest has helped enact several laws. These include Senate Bill 548, aimed at combating human trafficking, and House Bill 527, a bill to preserve and protect free speech on University of North Carolina System campuses. Additionally, Forest and his staff helped pass legislation designating September 11 a state holiday known as "First Responders Day," honoring men and women in law enforcement and emergency services. Forest has vocally supported North Carolina's tax reform and spending restraints.

Forest has been the recipient of numerous awards as lt. governor. These include the "Edwin Meese III Award for Originalism and Religious Liberty" from the Alliance for Defending Freedom, the "Life and Liberty Award" from the North Carolina Family Policy Council, and the "Public Leader of the Year Award" from the North Carolina Technology Association. Forest was awarded an honorary doctorate in humanities from North Carolina Wesleyan College in December 2017.

Forest began a one-year term as the chairman of the Republican Lieutenant Governors Association in 2018.[6][7]

2020 North Carolina gubernatorial electionEdit

Forest was widely reckoned as a top potential Republican candidate for governor in the 2020 gubernatorial election. Representative Mark Meadows, Chair of the House Freedom Caucus, has indicated that he will support Forest if he chooses to run.[8] In January 2019, Forest announced the formation of an exploratory committee to run for governor to challenge incumbent Democratic Governor Roy Cooper in 2020.[9]

Electoral historyEdit

North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Republican Primary Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dan Forest 253,656 32.98
Republican Tony Gurley 190,980 24.83
Republican Dale Folwell 186,564 24.25
Republican Grey Mills 112,824 14.67
Republican Arthur Jason Rich 25,206 3.28
North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Republican Primary Runoff Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dan Forest 101,961 67.87
Republican Tony Gurley 48,278 32.13
North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Election, 2012
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dan Forest 2,187,728 50.08
Democratic Linda Coleman 2,180,870 49.92
North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dan Forest 2,393,514 51.81
Democratic Linda Coleman 2,093,375 45.32
Libertarian Jacki Cole 132,645 2.87


  1. ^ "About". Archived from the original on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  2. ^ NC State Board of Elections: 2nd Primary results
  3. ^ NC State Board of Elections: General election results
  4. ^ WWAY-TV
  5. ^ WRAL: Forest sworn in as NC lt. governor
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Forest isn't officially running yet, but he's earned a big endorsement for governor". Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Lt. Gov. Dan Forest takes next step toward 2020 governor race". WTVD. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

External linksEdit