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Early judicial candidates’ filings purged; they must re-register after SB757 veto override

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 candidateDistrict before SB757District after SB757Party identification
Alicia D. Brooks 26 District Court26A District CourtDemocrat
Donald Cureton Jr.26 District Court26A District CourtDemocrat
Rex Marvel26 District Court26E District CourtDemocrat
Rickye McKoy-Mitchell26 District Court26G District CourtDemocrat
Regan A. Miller26 District Court26E District CourtDemocrat
Craig Croom10 District Court10B District CourtDemocrat
Sam Hamadani10 District Court10E District CourtDemocrat
Paige McThenia26 District Court26E District CourtDemocrat
Louis Meyer10 District Court10E District CourtDemocrat
Lou Trosch26B Superior Court26H Superior CourtDemocrat
Donnie Hoover26A Superior Court26E Superior CourtDemocrat
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