Chief Justice Mark Martin handily won his race for an eight-year term as the head of the State judiciary, while voters returned Justice Robin Hudson for another eight-year term on the Court as well. Court of Appeals Judge Jimmy Ervin, in his second bid for a seat on our State’s highest court, appears to have defeated Justice Bob Hunter, who was appointed to fill the vacant seat just months ago. In the final Supreme Court race, incumbent Justice Cheri Beasley holds a slim 3,000 vote lead over Winston-Salem attorney Mike Robinson.

Because each Supreme Court seat comes open only every eight years, the four seats on the ballot this year set a high-water mark. By contrast, we anticipate just one open seat on the Court during each of the next three elections.

On the Court of Appeals, Judge Mark Davis, appointed two years ago by outgoing Governor Purdue, convincingly won an eight-year term on his Court, as did Judge Donna Stroud, who was running unopposed. Special Superior Court Judge Lucy Inman will also be joining the Court and filling retiring Judge Bob Hunter’s seat.

Finally, in the crowded 19-person race, two former Court of Appeals judges finished at the top, with Judge John Tyson taking 24% of the vote—enough to edge out second-place finisher John Arrowood.

Congratulations to all of the judges and justices returning to or joining our State’s appellate courts. The next question will be, of course, whom the Governor selects to fill Judge Ervin’s soon-to-be-vacant seat on the Court of Appeals until 2016.

–Matt Leerberg