CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — With a new year comes new political faces, and North Carolina is bringing lots of them to represent our state on the federal level. But the future of our nation’s political landscape remains increasingly unclear as we head into 2023, and North Carolina is in a similar position.

Within the next two years, America will have a presidential election and North Carolina will elect a new governor.

Governor Roy Cooper is restricted from running again due to term limits, so big names on both sides of the aisle have hinted at throwing their hats into the ring.

“Attorney General [Josh] Stein is probably the dominant figure for the democrats and Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson for the republicans. I think there will be other candidates on both parties, particularly on the Republican side,” Eric Heberlig, Political Scientist at UNCC, said.

Heberlig thinks Robinson and Stein’s candidacy announcements will be coming out sooner rather than later.

“Running a statewide campaign is a time-consuming task. They’re probably already engaged in some type of fundraising for it and advanced planning. They haven’t made those plans public, but, but they’re in the works,” Heberlig said.

Mac McCorkle, former political consultant and now Director of Political Science at Duke University, is expecting a titanic battle between Robinson and Stein.

“Here, you’re gonna have more of what I think will be viewed as a more purely progressive race, Josh Stein, even though he is not too left, and Mark Robinson, who’s full out almost from the Jesse Helms tradition,” McCorkle said.

As for new North Carolina faces representing at the federal level, Senator-Elect Ted Budd is top of mind. He’s taking soon-to-be former Senator Richard Burr’s seat, and McCorkle thinks it might be a tough transition for Budd.

“Given how chaotic things are now with the Trump legacy, he’s going to have some trouble in the Senate figuring out if he’s going to be a Trump flamethrower as that flame may be fading, or is he going to get in the role that I think Tillis and Burr, very skillfully have done, which I would call 80%, expressing some independence,” McCorkle said.

Budd, along with five new North Carolina members of congress, will be sworn in on January 3rd. The new representatives are Chuck Edwards (R)-11th Congressional District,  Wiley Nickel (D)-13th Congressional District, Jeff Jackson (D)-14th Congressional District, Don Davis (D)-1st Congressional District, and Valerie Foushee (D)-4th Congressional District.