In North Carolina, all judges – local and statewide – are elected in “nonpartisan” elections. If 3 or more candidates file to run for a statewide judicial seat, they all run in a “nonpartisan” primary, and the top two vote-getters, regardless of party affiliation, move on to face off in the November general election. All NC registered voters, regardless of party, may vote in the “nonpartisan” judicial primary, and the judges are not identified by party affiliation on the ballot.
Currently, Republicans hold a tenuous 4-3 majority on the NC Supreme Court, with 4 seats up on the November ballot. One of those seats, currently held by Justice Robin Hudson (D), will be on the Primary Ballot today. Justice Hudson is facing off against Judge Eric Levinson (R), a Superior Court judge who used to be on the NC Court of Appeals, and Jeanette Doran (R), the Chair of the North Carolina Board of Review for the Employment Security Commission and former Executive Director of the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law.
Based on turnout models, many more conservatives than liberals will turn out to vote in the primary today. Therefore, there is a very good chance – if those conservative voters know who they are voting for in the judicial race – that both Eric Levinson and Jeanette Doran will advance out of the primary to the November general election. This would assure replacing a liberal judge with a more conservative one. This is critical because many reforms enacted by the new conservative legislature will come before the NC Supreme Court, including Voter ID, redistricting, teacher tenure reform, and educational vouchers for low income families.
North Carolina voters can only vote for one candidate in the Supreme Court primary today, so if you are in NC or you have relatives in NC, please vote for – and encourage others to vote for – Jeanette Doran or Eric Levinson today.