In this edition of NC Family Election Insights, we take a deeper dive into candidates for the North Carolina Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Currently, the seven-member State Supreme Court is made up of 4 Democrats and 3 Republicans. Two seats are up for election this year, so the outcome could shift the balance of power on the state’s highest court. The State Court of Appeals consists of 15 members—10 Republicans and 5 Democrats—and 4 seats are up for election.
These statewide races are incredibly important but are often overlooked by voters. The left-leaning Progress NC Action posted a story last week saying, “State judicial races don’t usually get much attention from voters or the media, but the decisions made by these elected officials often have massive implications that are felt for years.” The group highlighted how this election could significantly impact the future of issues like abortion, school choice, redistricting, and voter ID in North Carolina. While we typically don’t agree on the issues, I couldn’t agree more with Progress NC’s assessment of how consequential and vital these races are!
Fortunately, every candidate for the NC Supreme Court and all but one candidate for the State Court of Appeals responded to NC Family’s Voter Guide questionnaire, and you can access their responses, campaign websites, and photos at NCFamilyVoter.com. When you visit the candidate pages, be sure to click on “View Candidate Survey” to see their survey responses. Many judicial candidates are hesitant to directly address policy issues, so we ask them to describe their judicial philosophy, identify organizations with which they are involved, and explain the role faith plays in their daily lives. We have a lot of good information for you to review.
Associate Justice Seat 3—Republican Richard Dietz and Democrat Lucy Inman are vying for the Associate Justice seat currently held by Justice Robin Hudson. Hudson is not running for reelection, and both Dietz and Inman currently serve on the State Court of Appeals.
Associate Justice Seat 5—Democrat Justice Sam Ervin, IV is running for reelection and is being challenged by Republican attorney Trey Allen. Ervin is completing an eight-year term on the Supreme Court, having been elected in 2014. Allen serves as General Counsel for the NC Administrative Office of the Courts, a role he was appointed to by Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Newby.
NCCOA Judge Seat 11—Democrat Judge Darren Jackson, who was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Gov. Roy Cooper in 2020, is running to retain his seat against Republican challenger and District Court Judge Michael J. Stading.
These judicial races are extremely important, so be informed and prepared to cast your vote for the candidates of your choice.