2014 North Carolina judicial election

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Four justices of the seven-member North Carolina Supreme Court and four judges of the 15-member North Carolina Court of Appeals were elected by North Carolina voters on November 4, 2014, concurrently with other state elections. Terms for seats on each court are eight years.

Assessing the election results, Politifact writer Louis Jacobson noted that Supreme Court races in North Carolina and other states yielded "better-than-average results" for Democrats, who otherwise suffered heavy defeats across the country. "In a series of hotly contested North Carolina contests, two Democratic-leaning judges [Ervin and Hudson] prevailed, one Democrat [Beasley] was leading in a very close race, and one Republican [Chief Justice Martin] was re-elected," Jacobson wrote.[1] At the Court of Appeals level, two Democrats, Lucy Inman and Mark Davis, and one Republican, John Tyson, were elected in contested races, while another Republican, Donna Stroud, was re-elected without opposition.[2]

North Carolina ranked second among all states in total spending on judicial election campaigns in 2014.[3][4]

Supreme Court (Chief Justice)[edit]

Chief Justice Sarah Parker stepped down from her position on the Court in 2014 because she reached the mandatory retirement age of 72. Her seat would have been on the November 2014 election ballot in any event, since she was elected Chief Justice in 2006 to an eight-year term.

Associate Justice Mark Martin, who had already announced he was running for Chief Justice,[5][6] was appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory to take the position on September 1, 2014.[7]

North Carolina Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis, who at first announced her intention to challenge Associate Justice Beasley,[8] instead filed to run for Chief Justice after Attorney Mike Robinson announced he had been invited to run for the Beasley seat by the Executive Committee of the North Carolina Republican Party.[9] Lewis, like Martin, is a Republican. No registered Democrat or unaffiliated candidate filed to run for the chief justice seat. North Carolina judicial elections are nonpartisan.

Martin won his third term on the Supreme Court, and first term as chief justice, by taking 72.3 percent of the vote.[10]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Mark
Martin
Ola
Lewis
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling September 11–14, 2014 1,266 ± 2.8% 16% 7% 77%

Supreme Court (Martin seat)[edit]

The seat formerly held by Associate Justice Mark Martin was on the ballot. Justice Martin was appointed to the position of chief justice, effective Sept. 1, and ran for that seat.

North Carolina Court of Appeals Judges Sam J. Ervin IV[11] and Robert N. Hunter, Jr. (not to be confused with his colleague, Judge Robert C. Hunter, also of the NC Court of Appeals; see below) both ran for this seat.[12] Gov. Pat McCrory appointed Hunter to hold the seat through the election, making him the incumbent.[13]

Ervin defeated Hunter to win his first term on the North Carolina Supreme Court by taking 52.6 percent of the vote.[10]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Sam J.
Ervin IV
Robert N.
Hunter, Jr.
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling September 11–14, 2014 1,266 ± 2.8% 21% 13% 66%

Supreme Court (Hudson seat)[edit]

Associate Justice Robin E. Hudson ran for re-election to a second term.[14]

Jeanette Doran, chair of the North Carolina Division of Employment Security Board of Review;[15][16] and Superior Court Judge and former Court of Appeals Judge Eric L. Levinson also ran for the seat.[17]

As this was the only statewide judicial election in 2014 with more than two candidates, a nonpartisan primary was held on May 6. Hudson and Levinson came in first and second, with approximately 43 percent and 37 percent of the vote, respectively.[18] They advanced to the general election, while Doran, who garnered approximately 21 percent of the vote, was eliminated.[19]

In the general election, Hudson won re-election with 52.4 percent of the vote.[10]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Robin E.
Hudson
Eric
Levinson
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling September 11–14, 2014 1,266 ± 2.8% 18% 10% 72%
Public Policy Polling August 14–17, 2014 856 ± 3.4% 19% 11% 71%

Supreme Court (Beasley seat)[edit]

Associate Justice Cheri Beasley ran for election to a full term in her own right after she was appointed to the seat by former Governor Bev Perdue to fill a vacancy.[20]

Attorney Mike Robinson challenged Beasley for the seat.[21]

Beasley won election to her first full term with 50.1 percent of the vote.[10] The margin was small enough that a recount would be allowed, if Robinson requested it.[22] He filed such a request for a recount on Nov. 17.[23] After the recount only added a net 17 votes to Robinson's total, he conceded and Beasley was declared the winner on Nov. 25.[24]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Cheri
Beasley
Mike
Robinson
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling September 11–14, 2014 1,266 ± 2.8% 13% 9% 78%

Court of Appeals (Robert C. Hunter seat)[edit]

The seat held by Judge Robert C. Hunter (not to be confused with his colleague on the Court, Robert N. Hunter, Jr.) was on the ballot. Hunter announced on Aug. 14, 2013, that he would not seek re-election.[25]

Judges Lucy Inman and Bill Southern were both candidates for the seat. Judge Inman is a special Superior Court judge and was appointed to that position in 2010 by former Governor Beverly Perdue. Prior to that, she was a trial lawyer. Judge Southern currently serves on the District Court bench for Stokes and Surry Counties. He was elected to that position in 2008 and in 2012. Prior to that, he served as an assistant district attorney in Stokes and Surry Counties.[26][27]

Inman won election to her first term on the North Carolina Court of Appeals with 51.9 percent of the vote.[10]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Lucy
Inman
Bill
Southern
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling September 11–14, 2014 1,266 ± 2.8% 9% 8% 83%

Court of Appeals (Stroud seat)[edit]

Judge Donna Stroud ran unopposed for re-election.[28]

Court of Appeals (Davis seat)[edit]

Judge Mark A. Davis ran for a full term after serving out the remainder of Judge Cheri Beasley's unexpired term.[29] Beasley was appointed to the Supreme Court.

District Court Judge Paul A. Holcombe also ran for this seat.[30] Paul Holcombe has been a District Court Judge for Johnston, Harnett and Lee Counties since January 2009.[31]

Davis won his first full term by taking 58.8 percent of the vote.[10]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Mark A.
Davis
Paul A.
Holcombe
Other Undecided
Public Policy Polling September 11–14, 2014 1,266 ± 2.8% 8% 7% 85%

Court of Appeals (John C. Martin seat)[edit]

On July 9, 2014, Chief Judge John C. Martin announced his retirement, effective August 1, 2014, creating another opening to be filled by voters in the general election. Because of the date of his retirement, no primary election was held for the seat.[32] Governor Pat McCrory appointed Judge Lisa Bell to hold the Martin seat for the remainder of the year, but she was not among the candidates who ran for a full term.[33]

Nineteen candidates filed for the special election.[34] They included former Court of Appeals Judge John Arrowood of Charlotte,[35] Raleigh attorney Betsy Bunting, District Court Judge Lori G. Christian,[36] Raleigh bankruptcy attorney Jeffrey Cook, Raleigh Deputy Industrial Commissioner and former Court of Appeals staff lawyer J. Brad Donovan,[37] Hertford attorney Daniel Patrick Donahue, Raleigh attorney Sabra Faires,[38] former Superior Court judge Abe Jones, New Bern attorney Ann Kirby, Deputy Industrial Commissioner Keischa Lovelace,[39] Raleigh attorney Marty Martin, Haywood County trial attorney Hunter Murphy,[40] Raleigh attorney Joseph "Jody" Newsome, Raleigh attorney Patricia "Tricia" Shields,[41] Raleigh attorney Elizabeth Davenport Scott, former Court of Appeals Judge John M. Tyson of Cumberland County,[42] Brunswick County District Court Judge Marion Warren, Greensboro attorney and former State Board of Elections member Chuck Winfree, and Yadkinville attorney Valerie Johnson Zachary.[43]

Judge Tyson won his second full term on the court with 23.9 percent of the vote.[10] Arrowood placed second with 14.4 percent. No other candidate took more than 10 percent of the vote.

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Republicans' Election Night wave: It was big. Nov. 6, 2014.
  2. ^ News & Observer
  3. ^ News & Observer, Oct. 29, 2015
  4. ^ The New Politics of Judicial Elections, 2013-14
  5. ^ News & Observer Under the Dome Morning Memo: Florida GOP governor takes N.C. Democrats approach
  6. ^ News & Observer Under the Dome: Martin to run for NC Chief Justice, Parker to retire
  7. ^ Governor Will Appoint Justice Mark Martin as Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court
  8. ^ WECT
  9. ^ WWAY-TV
  10. ^ a b c d e f g State Board of Elections Archived 2014-11-05 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ News & Observer Under the Dome: Judge Ervin will run again for Supreme Court
  12. ^ NC Court of Appeals Judge Robert N. Hunter, Jr. files paperwork to run for NC Supreme Court
  13. ^ Governor McCrory will appoint Judge Bob Hunter to fill Supreme Court vacancy
  14. ^ News & Observer: Hudson seeking re-election to NC Supreme Court
  15. ^ Salisbury Post
  16. ^ Governor McCrory announces appointments
  17. ^ Charlotte Observer Archived 2014-02-21 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ State Board of Elections - Primary Election Results Archived 2014-12-31 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ WRAL.com
  20. ^ News & Observer Under the Dome: Justice Beasley will run for her seat in 2014
  21. ^ http://www.ncapb.com/resources/voter-information/
  22. ^ News & Observer
  23. ^ News & Observer: NC Supreme Court candidate Mike Robinson, Senate hopeful Tom Bradshaw file for recounts
  24. ^ WRAL.com
  25. ^ http://www.wral.com/judge-robert-c-hunter-to-retire-from-nc-court-of-appeals-/12776170/
  26. ^ "News & Observer Under the Dome". Archived from the original on 2014-03-25. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
  27. ^ News & Observer: Surry County judge announces appeals court candidacy
  28. ^ "NC State Board of Elections: Candidate filing list" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-01-26. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
  29. ^ Greensboro News & Record
  30. ^ "Official Candidate Filings, NC State Board of Elections" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-01-26. Retrieved 2014-02-28.
  31. ^ North Carolina Court System, District 11
  32. ^ Associated Press Archived 2014-07-26 at the Wayback Machine
  33. ^ Governor McCrory Appoints Judge Lisa Bell to Court of Appeals
  34. ^ [1]
  35. ^ Charlotte Observer
  36. ^ Judgepedia
  37. ^ News & Observer: Industrial Commission deputy will run for appeals court
  38. ^ News & Observer
  39. ^ Deputy Commissioner Biography
  40. ^ [2]
  41. ^ Hedrick Gardner
  42. ^ [3]
  43. ^ State Board of Elections: Special Judicial Candidate List

External links[edit]