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One contested race in 2nd Judicial District as filing period expires

There’s only one contested judicial contest in the 2nd Judicial District and it’s a District Court judgeship.

The district includes Beaufort, Martin, Washington, Hyde and Tyrrell counties.

Beaufort County resident Darrell B. Cayton Jr. faces a challenge from Sarah Homes, a Hyde County magistrate and resident. Judicial races in this election cycle are partisan, for the first time since 2002.

Regina Parker, the chief District Court judge in the 2nd Judicial District and a Democrat, is unopposed in her re-election bid. Parker was appointed chief District Court judge earlier this year after Michael Paul retired from that position. Parker lives in Martin County.

District Court judges serve four-year terms. The 2nd Judicial District is allotted four District Court judges. Judge Chris McLendon’s seat is available in the 2020 election cycle. Keith Mason has been appointed by Gov. Roy Cooper to the seat Paul vacated when he retired, but Mason has not yet taken office.

Unopposed in his re-election bid is Superior Court Judge Wayland J. Sermons Jr., a Beaufort County resident. Sermons is the chief Superior Court judge in the 2nd Judicial District. Superior County judges serve eight-year terms.

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. She is seeking re-election.

Democrat Anita Earls is challenging Jackson. Earls, a lawyer, has been involved in several lawsuits challenging the state’s redistricting plans, voter ID laws and other voter-restriction legislation. She was involved in voter-challenge issues in Beaufort County in the 2016 general election.

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, and Republican Sandra Alice Ray are seeking the Calabria seat.

Elmore is not seeking a third term. Attorney Allegra Katherine Collins, a Democrat, is seeking the Elmore seat. She is being challenged by Republican Chuck Kitchen and Libertarian Michael Monaco Sr.

Arrowood, a Democrat 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, is challenging Arrowood.

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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