Josh Dobson endorses Jon Hardister for Labor Commissioner
On Tuesday, North Carolina Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson announced his endorsement of Rep. Jon Hardister, R-Guilford, as the candidate to succeed him in the upcoming Republican primary.
“While my time at Labor is coming to an end, I have found a great leader to take my place and serve the citizens of North Carolina,” Dobson said. “I am proud to endorse my friend, Rep. Jon Hardister, for Labor Commissioner in 2024.”
Dobson was elected to office in 2020 after the retirement of longtime Commissioner Cherie Berry. In December 2022, Dobson made headlines when he announced less than two years into his term that he would not seek re-election for a second term, citing his interest in private-sector work and a desire to prioritize family time.
“Jon has the experience and skills necessary to continue the success I’ve been a part of since taking office in 2021,” Dobson said. “I hope you will join me in supporting his campaign. Jon is a friend and a true leader, and I know he will be an effective Commissioner of Labor.”
Before becoming Labor Commissioner, Dobson served four terms in the NC House of Representatives, representing Avery, McDowell, and Mitchell counties. He also served two terms on the McDowell County Board of Commissioners and is an alumnus of Appalachian State University. Dobson has built a reputation as a moderate Republican who is willing to work across the aisle and beyond partisanship.
Following Dobson’s announcement, multiple N.C. General Assembly lawmakers quickly announced their candidacies. Rep. Ben Moss, R-Moore, was the first to announce, declaring on Dec. 20. Hardister launched his campaign a few weeks later on Jan. 4. Luke Farley, R-Wake, announced his candidacy in May.
Moss recently dropped out of the race, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family and focus on his priorities at the General Assembly.
As one might expect, Hardister said he was thankful for Dobson’s support.
“It is an honor to receive the endorsement of Commissioner Josh Dobson,” Hardister said. “He has done an outstanding job at the helm of the Department of Labor, and I am humbled to have his support. I am proud to call Josh a friend, and I appreciate his service to the citizens of North Carolina.”
The Department of Labor is responsible for promoting the “health, safety, and general well-being” of nearly 4.5 million North Carolina workers. The department has wide authority over employers and employees.
Hardister has served as Majority Whip since 2016, and has served in the N.C. House since 2012. He is the longest-serving and youngest majority whip in state history.
Both Hardister and Farley support North Carolina’s Right to Work laws, which outlaw union membership requirements as a condition of hiring or continued employment.