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Judicial filing period began at noon Monday

The filing period for judicial elections in North Carolina opened at noon Monday and concludes at noon June 29.

Locally, the Superior Court (2nd Judicial District) seat held by Judge Wayland Sermons Jr. is available this election cycle, as are two of the four District Court judgeships in the 2nd Judicial District. Superior Court judges serve eight-year terms. District Court judges serve four-year terms. The district includes Beaufort, Martin, Washington, Hyde and Tyrrell counties.

The District Court judges’ seats held by Regina Parker and Darrell B. Cayton are available this election cycle.

Sermons has indicated he would seek re-election.

One seat on the N.C. Supreme Court is available this election cycle, which concludes with the Nov. 6 general election. That seat is currently occupied by Barbara Jackson, a Republican and associate justice on the seven-member high court.

Anita Earls filed for that seat Monday. Earls, a lawyer, has been involved in several lawsuits challenging the state’s redistricting plans, voter ID laws and other voter-restriction legislation. Earls founded the Southern Coalition for Social Justice. She served as deputy assistant attorney general in the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Three seats on the 15-member N.C. Court of Appeals are available this year. Those seats are currently held by judges Ann Marie Calabria, Rick Elmore and John S. Arrowood. Calabria is not seeking re-election. Attorney Toby Hampton, a Democrat, and Wake County District Court Judge Jefferson Griffin, a Republican, have said they will seek the Calabria seat.

Elmore is not seeking a third term. Attorney Allegra Collins, a Democrat, is seeking the Elmore seat.

Arrowood, appointed to the court in 2017 to fill the vacancy created by Judge Douglas McCullough’s resignation, is seeking a full term on the court. N.C. Superior Court Judge Andrew Heath, a Republican who served as budget director for former Gov. Pat McCrory, filed for the Arrowood seat Monday.

Terms for seats on each court are eight years. The elections will be partisan for the first time since the 2002 elections.

All candidates for judicial offices must file at the N.C. State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement in Raleigh. Each judicial candidate must go to his or her local board of elections to have his or her residency certified before filing with the state board. Cayton’s residency has been certified, said Anita Bullock Branch, deputy director of the Beaufort County Board of Elections.

The filing fees for judicial candidates are as follows:

  • Associate justice, North Carolina Supreme Court, $1,462;
  • Judge, North Carolina Court of Appeals, $1,401;
  • Judge, North Carolina Superior Court, $1,326;
  • Judge, North Carolina District Court, $1,167.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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