A few weeks ago, we predicted that Justice Beasley’s seat would be subject to a primary run-off this spring.  On the last day for candidate filing, however, Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis declared her candidacy for Chief Justice instead of for Justice Beasley’s seat.

This change had two effects.  First, Senior Associate Justice Mark Martin, who had been running unopposed for the seat of Chief Justice, will now face Judge Lewis in the general election.  Second, Justice Beasley and Mike Robinson are now the only candidates for Justice Beasley’s seat, meaning there will be no primary for the seat.

Justice Martin’s term happens to also end this year.  His decision to run for Chief Justice has, therefore, created an opening for his seat with no incumbent running.  Judges Sam “Jimmy” Ervin IV and Robert N. Hunter, Jr., both sitting Court of Appeals judges, have filed as candidates for the seat.  Each has two years left on his term in the Court of Appeals.  After the general election in the fall, the Governor will likely be appointing someone to backfill one of their seats.

In addition, Jeanette Doran filed as a candidate for Justice Hudson’s seat.  With Judge Eric Levinson and Justice Hudson also running for the seat, there will now be an appellate primary on May 6th according to state election laws.  The top two candidates will move on to the general election in November.

The North Carolina Court of Appeals has three seats on the ballot, but only two are contested.  Sitting Court of Appeals Judge Mark Davis, appointed in 2013, and District Court Judge Paul Holcombe are running for Judge Davis’s seat.

Judge Robert C. Hunter (not to be confused with Judge Robert N. Hunter Jr.) is retiring from the bench this year at the end of his term.  Special Superior Court Judge Lucy Inman and District Court Judge Bill Southern are running to fill the seat.

Judge Donna Stroud is running unopposed to keep her seat.

For a full list of the seven appellate seats on the ballot this year and the confirmed candidates for each, see our voter information page.

–Matt Leerberg