Key NC Supreme Court race shaken, choppy with last-minute entry – Carolina Journal

A surprise nomination has dramatically changed the political landscape in one of North Carolina’s most important political races in 2022. It’s a contest to take a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court.

A top-tier Republican primary that will decide who will meet incumbent Democrat Jimmy Ervin in the fall has had a new entry just as the nomination period ends.

Republican Prince Victoria of Greensboro has filed for Ervin’s 5th seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court. Republicans Trey Allen and Court of Appeals Judge April Wood have been campaigning statewide for weeks in the same race.

This spring, Woodelected to the Court of Appeals as a Republican nominee in 2020, announced that she would seek to run for the state Supreme Court in 2022. Wood beat Democrat Tricia Shields, 51.7% to 48.2 %, a margin of 190,456 votes in his 2020 Court of Appeals race.

Wood announced:

“I am the strongest and most experienced Conservative candidate for the Supreme Court. I am a proven constitutional conservative and am the only candidate with trial court experience. We need strong, hard-working candidates to win the Conservative majority on the Supreme Court next year.

Allen is a professor at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government and general counsel in the State Courts Administrative Office. He is a former clerk to current Chief Justice Paul Newby. Allen’s campaign website highlights his close relationship with Newby.

Allen began his legal career as a judge advocate in the United States Marine Corps. He spent most of his time in the Marines overseas, and his military service included a deployment to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

As Chief Justice, Newby oversees the entire state court system through the Courts Administration Office. He appointed Allen as the office’s general counsel.

While Newby can’t and won’t directly support Allen, when you’re appointed by the Chief Justice to represent his legal position as head of the judiciary, an implied endorsement is pretty strong.

According to her online profile, Prince is an attorney with the law firm Penry Terry and Mitchell in Lexington. She handles child custody, child support, equitable distribution, alimony, domestic violence, absolute divorce, wills and estates.

Carolina Journal found almost no information online about her campaign. No website, no Twitter account and no Facebook campaign page. CJ did not receive any campaign announcements.

Whether intentional or conscious, Prince’s entry into the race is a big boost for Allen. In a race where no candidate will be able to raise enough money to persuade or “touch” many primary voters, two women splitting the vote against a man is a significant advantage. However, Wood enjoys strong support among some dedicated grassroots Republican activists.

Ervin, the incumbent, faces no Democratic primary opposition. He is the grandson of US Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr. and the son of Judge of the United States Court of Appeals Sam J. Ervin III. The Ervin name still carries considerable weight in Burke County and the western part of the state. However, Judge Ervin never appeared on the ballot as a Democrat. His previous races were non-partisan.

In recent years, North Carolina’s statewide court races have closely monitored the political environment and “wildcard voting.”

In 2020, when President Donald Trump won North Carolina, Republicans won all eight statewide court races, with margins of victory between 0.1% and 2.4%.

With a strong political wind at their back, Republicans are aggressively targeting both Supreme Court races. Republicans need only win one of the two to give control of the state’s highest court to a GOP majority.

Republicans are apoplectic over Democrats’ attempts to remove GOP justices from business, the possible invalidation of two voter-approved constitutional amendments and the party line’s recent invalidation of redistricting maps.

In the other Supreme Court race (Seat 3) for the seat vacated by retired Democratic Justice Robin Hudson, Republican Richard Dietz and Democrat Lucy Inman will face off for the seat. Diertz and Inman are both judges on the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

Inman served as a special judge on the Superior Court from 2010 to 2014. She was elected to an eight-year term on the Court of Appeals in 2014. Running for the Supreme Court in 2022 would leave her current seat on the Court of open call to be also filled in 2022.

Inman, a registered Democrat, is the daughter of author Lucy Daniels, granddaughter of former White House press secretary Jonathan Daniels and great-granddaughter of the News and Observer publisher and Secretary of the Navy American Josephus Daniels.

Dietz announced his intention to run for the Supreme Court earlier this year. Dietz joined the Court of Appeals in 2014. Dietz is known as a conservative intellectual with a record of conservative case law, but with a unique ability to develop consensus on the court.

A total of two Supreme Court races will be on the ballot this fall, along with four Court of Appeals races.

For the Court of Appeals (seat 9), incumbent Donna Stroud faces a challenge in Beth Freshwater Smith’s GOP primary, with the winner facing Democrat Brad Salmon in the fall. Two Republicans, Charlton Allen and Michael Stading, are vying to win their party’s nomination for another contest (seat 11) in the Court of Appeals in the primary, with the winner facing incumbent Democrat Darren Jackson in the fall . Jackson was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Roy Cooper. Jackson is the former Minority Leader at the State House.

In the final two Court of Appeals seats, Democrat Carolyn Jennings Thompson and Republican Julee Tate Flood (seat 8) will meet, as will Democrat Gale Murray Adams and incumbent Republican John Tyson (seat 10).

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