North Carolina Council of State

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The Council of State is a group of popularly elected executive offices in North Carolina, United States. It is separate from the North Carolina Cabinet, which is appointed by the Governor of North Carolina, and makes up the rest of the executive leadership of the government. However, Council of State members are often colloquially and erroneously called 'Cabinet members'.

North Carolina retains a Jacksonian-era system of divided executive power. In addition to the Governor, the nine Council of State members are elected statewide by the voters. The term "Council of State" harks back to the colonial-era Governor's Council, which was essentially the upper house of the legislature, and then to a Council of State in the early years of statehood, which was appointed by the legislature and which curtailed the governor's power.

Today, the Council of State meets periodically, with the Governor as chair, to allow for coordination and exchange of information across executive branch agencies and to vote on certain decisions, especially regarding the sale of state property[1] or borrowing money. In 2007, a state judge referred to an old state law that requires the Council to approve changes to capital punishment procedures.[2]

Current members[edit]

Office Name Party
Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest Republican
Secretary of State Elaine Marshall Democratic
Attorney General Josh Stein Democratic
Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler Republican
Commissioner of Insurance Mike Causey Republican
Commissioner of Labor Cherie K. Berry Republican
Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson Republican
State Treasurer Dale Folwell Republican
State Auditor Beth Wood Democratic

See also[edit]


  1. ^ WRAL: State leaders to vote on future of Dix campus
  2. ^ Predecessors of NC-GS § 15-188. "Manner and place of execution." as cited in the current legislation (1909, c. 443, s. 2; C.S., s. 4658; 1935, c. 294, s. 2; 1983, c. 678, s. 2; 1998-212, s. 17.22(b); 2012-136, s. 1; 2013-154, s. 3(a).)