Wake County


Current Attorney General and former State Senator Josh Stein launched a very early bid for governor last week. Stein lives in Wake County, which in the 2020 Census passed Mecklenburg as North Carolina’s largest. Wake is now a Democratic stronghold: Democrats hold 16 of its 17 legislative seats and every countywide office, from its 7 county commissioners all the way down to Soil and Water Supervisor. But as recently as 2014, Wake elected a Republican sheriff and a few other county offices. Republican Pat McCrory won the county in 2012 and George W. Bush carried it in 2004. In many ways, Wake has been ground zero for the rapidly changing political coalitions since Barack Obama’s election in 2008 – it’s fast-growing, with a large affluent, college-educated population that is trending more Democratic.

Unlike Mecklenburg, as you can see in the map below, Wake County still has plenty of unincorporated areas and room to grow, and It will continue to be the state’s largest county for the foreseeable future. And though NC State and state government agencies make North Carolina this county’s largest employer, it’s home to major private employers, too – companies like SAS, Red Hat, State Employees Credit Union, and Lenovo.


County Seat: Raleigh
Biggest Cities:
  • Raleigh
  • Cary
  • Wake Forest
  • Apex
  • Garner
  • Holly Springs
  • Knightdale
  • Morrisville
Media Market: Raleigh-Durham

Elected Officials

County Data