House lawmakers voted along party lines Wednesday to override a veto of a partial judicial redistricting bill, effectively purging those candidates who filed early on in the process.
Shortly after Senate Bill 757 was enacted, the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement sent a letter to 10 judges notifying them of the change in law and what steps they needed to take next.
“To effectuate the provisions of Senate Bill 757, the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement Office has cancelled your Notice of Candidacy and will begin the process of reimbursing the applicable filing fee,” the letter states. “If you wish to participate in the 2018 General Election under judicial districts established by current law, you must submit a new Notice of Candidacy within the filing period … which ends at noon June 29.”
There were 14 judges who registered before the change in law who were affected by SB757. Some of them were not addressed in the letter because they were allowed to file their “intent to file” for the office “which they believed would be on the ballot and for which they would be qualified at the time of the election,” according to Board spokesman Pat Gannon.
That was in addition to filing under the current law at the time. But several of those 10 judges who didn’t file an “intent to file” in a non-existent district had asked if they could at the time and were told by Board staff they could not.
“Officials at the State Board are not aware that differing advice was given, and we regret any inconvenience to candidates,” Gannon said. “We are working very hard to ensure that everyone who wishes to run in a judicial contest gets filed appropriately before the end of the filing period.”
Sb757 redistricts Superior Courts in Mecklenburg, Pender and New Hanover counties and District Courts in Wake and Mecklenburg counties. It was rolled out after GOP lawmakers couldn’t reach a consensus on a statewide judicial redistricting bill.
House lawmakers had a short debate Wednesday before overriding the veto.
Democratic lawmakers pointed out that the candidate filing process had already started and that there was no need to change District Court districts. Republican lawmakers kept pointing to the same population disparities in Mecklenburg Superior Court districts that they’ve been using as an iron curtain all along to get the bill passed.
There was also a familiar pattern to the debate — the Democrats blamed the Republicans for bad timing, and the Republicans blamed Gov. Roy Cooper for everything, but particularly for vetoing the bill “in the dark of night.”
But in the end, it’s not the lawmakers or Cooper who suffer the consequences — intended and unintended — of SB757, it’s the judicial candidates and the public. Below is a list of the judicial candidates who have to refile their Notice of Candidacy.
Below is a list of the 11 judicial candidates who have to refile to participate in the election.
|Judicial candidate||District before SB757||District after SB757||Party identification|
|Alicia D. Brooks||26 District Court||26A District Court||Democrat|
|Donald Cureton Jr.||26 District Court||26A District Court||Democrat|
|Rex Marvel||26 District Court||26E District Court||Democrat|
|Rickye McKoy-Mitchell||26 District Court||26G District Court||Democrat|
|Regan A. Miller||26 District Court||26E District Court||Democrat|
|Craig Croom||10 District Court||10B District Court||Democrat|
|Sam Hamadani||10 District Court||10E District Court||Democrat|
|Paige McThenia||26 District Court||26E District Court||Democrat|
|Louis Meyer||10 District Court||10E District Court||Democrat|
|Lou Trosch||26B Superior Court||26H Superior Court||Democrat|
|Donnie Hoover||26A Superior Court||26E Superior Court||Democrat|