JOSH’S SERVICE AS ATTORNEY GENERAL
Josh was sworn in as North Carolina’s 50th Attorney General on January 1, 2017, and he was re-elected to a second term in 2020. Just as he has his entire career, Josh is putting the people of North Carolina first as their Attorney General:
- As AG, Josh has made combatting the opioid epidemic a top priority. Josh led the negotiations for the second largest state attorney general settlement in the history of the country — a $26 billion agreement with opioid distributors and Johnson & Johnson. North Carolina will receive $750 million to help provide treatment and recovery services for those battling opioid addiction. He also helped enact the STOP Act, the HOPE Act, and the Synthetic Opioid Control Act to reduce overprescribing and to give law enforcement tools to hold drug traffickers accountable.
- Josh is leading the effort to clear the state’s backlog of untested sexual assault kits by securing funding to test kits, mandating that all newly collected kits be tested going forward, and implementing a new statewide tracking system. In 2021, he secured additional $9 million to end the backlog as well as funding for additional scientists to ensure another backlog never develops again.
- Josh is committed to making our criminal justice system fairer and better. He co-chairs the Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice (TREC) established by Gov. Roy Cooper in 2020. The Task Force made 125 separate recommendations and has been working hard to implement them. The legislature has passed important new reforms and local law enforcement has adopted new policies to improve the criminal justice system.
- Josh refuses to see another generation of teenagers addicted to nicotine. He was the first attorney general to take JUUL to court for its dangerous role in spiking teen use of e-cigarettes, and North Carolina was the first state to successfully hold the e-cigarette company accountable. North Carolina secured fundamental changes to JUUL’s business practices to protect young people from its marketing and sales and $40 million to help kids conquer their nicotine addiction, achieving a major win in the fight against teen vaping.
- Josh is leading a national bipartisan coalition of 51 attorneys general to fight unwanted and illegal robocalls. He’s taking action to protect our state’s consumers and to hold robocalling scammers, and the phone companies that enable them, accountable.
- Josh ensures that consumers are protected by going after scam artists, price gougers, corporate bad actors, and predatory lenders. His office has investigated hundreds of thousands of consumer complaints to hold business and individuals accountable for mistreating North Carolina customers, returning more than $1.5 billion to North Carolina families.
- Josh is taking action to protect the USPS from Postmaster Louis DeJoy’s efforts to undermine one of our nation’s most important public services. He filed a complaint with the Postal Regulatory Commission to block DeJoy’s disastrous 10-year plan that raises costs and reduces services.
- Josh is fighting to protect drinking water quality so folks don’t have to worry whether their water is safe and clean when they turn on their tap. Josh took DuPont and Chemours to court for discharging GenX, and other ‘forever chemicals,’ into the Cape Fear River. He helped the Department of Environmental Quality negotiate the largest excavation of coal ash in the history of the United States – 80 million tons. He’s also going after 12 manufacturers of PFAS-containing foam to make sure that polluters pay to clean up the messes they make.
- Josh is committed to defending people’s right to vote and to live their lives free of discrimination. Josh refused to appeal the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision striking down North Carolina’s monster anti-voter law for targeting African-American voters “with almost surgical precision.” He worked hard to ensure that North Carolina’s 2020 elections maximized eligible voter turnout even in the middle of a pandemic. In 2022, he filed a brief with the North Carolina Supreme Court urging the Court to clarify that our state constitution prohibits partisan gerrymandering. He has also repeatedly submitted court filings to defend people’s right to not be discriminated against because of their race, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other illegitimate basis.
Prior to being elected Attorney General, Josh served in the state Senate from 2009 to 2016, where he was a champion for public education, clean energy, and public safety. Stein’s colleagues ranked him the most effective Democratic Senator.
Between 2001 and 2008, Josh served as Senior Deputy Attorney General for Consumer Protection where he worked to ensure that big corporations played by the rules and treated people fairly. He took on predatory lenders, illegal telemarketers, and identity thieves.
After law school, he worked with two economic development organizations raising capital to invest in low-wealth communities throughout eastern North Carolina and revitalizing distressed properties into single family homes. He taught high school English and economics in Zimbabwe for a couple of years between college and graduate school.
Josh grew up in Chapel Hill and Charlotte and is a graduate of Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Dartmouth College. He and his wife Anna live in Raleigh, are members of Temple Beth Or, and have three children who all attended North Carolina public schools, just like they did.
Josh enjoys biking, watching college sports and the Carolina Hurricanes, and (in his younger days) playing soccer.