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UNC-TV’s indefatigable host Kelly McCullen sits down with this year’s candidates for the top judge in North Carolina, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Ola M. Lewis currently serves as a Superior Court Judge and Mark Martin serves as our state’s current Supreme Court Chief Justice, after being appointed by Governor McCrory to fill the vacancy left by former Chief Justice Sarah Parker. Parker reached retirement age in August (there is a mandatory retirement age of 72 for judges in North Carolina — click here for more information).
There are a whole host of important judicial races on the ballot this year (in fact, for one state Appeals Court seat, there are 19 candidates!) and they don’t get much press. To fill that void, the State Board of Elections has prepared this handy Voter Guide. It lists all the upcoming races, profiles the candidates, and briefly explains the role that each court plays in the administration of justice. Currently, judicial races in North Carolina are non-partisan – meaning that there is no political party identification next to a candidate’s name on the ballot, which can make it more difficult for voters to know if a particular candidate is inclined to be more liberal or more conservative — but local county parties typically endorse candidates every year to help you decide. We encourage you to learn more about the judicial races…and at the top isn’t a bad place to start.