On Thursday, Oct. 18th, One Stop Early Voting begins in North Carolina. That means unless you plan to cast your ballots on Election Day, Nov.6th, you’ll have between the 18thof October and the third of November to do so early.
As always, this newspaper will make recommendations about the candidates we endorse for public office. Of course, we hope that our readers and community are closely following all of the candidates on the ballot, and make their ultimate choices based on competence and record, not party.
This is a pivotal election in so many ways, not just for the state, but also for our nation, and ultimately our children. Our community made history in 2008.
Now, in 2012, we must secure the future.
Make sure that you, your friends and family vote. It means that much.
NON-PARTISAN JUDICIAL RACES
On the back of the ballot for Election 2012 are non-partisan races for judicial seats on the NC Court of Appeals, and a seat on the NC Supreme Court. These races are extremely important, too important for our community to ignore. These non-partisan elections are about who ultimately decides the law on the highest and second highest levels of jurisprudence in our state.
A close examination of their experience, judicial temperament and record of decision making is warranted in order to determine their suitability to serve.
The candidates are all distinguished incumbents of the bench.
In the case of the three state appellate judges, there are two women (one black) and two African-Americans.
If they lose, the state Appellate Court will lose two-thirds of its African-American jurists, and two-thirds of its female judges. Without appropriate representation on our state’s highest courts, our community may be hard pressed to find fairness.
So this election is your chance to make sure that you have your say on who sits on the bench, making many of the landmark legal decisions in our state.
On the NC Court of Appeals, Judge Wanda Bryant has served for almost eleven years there, where she is the fourth most senior judge. She has written more than 1,200 opinions. She is a former Senior Deputy Attorney General of North Carolina and a former Assistant US Attorney. She currently serves as Chair of the Board of Visitors of the North Carolina Central University School of Law, and she is the recipient of the North Carolina Press Association’s First Amendment Award.
Judge Linda McGee has served for 16 years on the Court of Appeals and she is now the second most senior judge on the Court. She has heard more than 6,000 cases and has written almost 2,000 opinions. Previously, she practiced law for17 years in civil and criminal courts. She was awarded the NC Bar Association’s Pro Bono Service Award and she serves on the Chief Justice’s Equal Access to Justice Commission. She co-chaired Lawyers in Schools and chaired the Civic Education Consortium.
Judge Cressie Thigpen, serving his second year on the Court of Appeals, has practiced law for 35 years in civil and criminal courts in North Carolina. He is a former Special Superior Court judge and is Past President of the North Carolina State Bar. He is a former member of the UNC Chapel Hill Board of Trustees and former Chair of the Board of Trustees of North Carolina Central University. He is a member of the NC Bar Association Hall of Fame.
In the race for the NC Supreme Court, current state Appeals Court Judge Sam Ervin IV was elected to the North Carolina Court of Appeals in November, 2008 and was sworn in as a Judge on January 1, 2009. As a Judge on the Court of Appeals, Ervin is responsible for deciding appeals in a wide variety of criminal and civil cases heard in the District and Superior Courts and decisions made by various administrative agencies. In his three years on the Court of Appeals, Judge Ervin has written more than 325 opinions and participated in more than 900 court decisions.
Ervin’s work as a member of the Utilities Commission and a Judge of the North Carolina Court of Appeals has been characterized by his in-depth knowledge of the issues, his devotion to a thorough understanding of the law, and his insistence on fair treatment for all parties.
The Wilmington Journal is proud to endorse all of these non-partisan judicial candidates, and recommends them to you for your consideration when you cast your ballots starting Oct. 18th.