On the last day of candidate filing for judicial races, an unfamiliar name threw his hat in the ring to become the next state Supreme Court justice — much to Republicans’ surprise.
Chris Anglin, a 32-year-old Raleigh attorney — who changed his voter registration from Democrat to Republican a month ago — is challenging incumbent Barbara Jackson (who is a registered Republican) and prominent voting and civil rights attorney Anita Earls (who is a registered Democrat).
Republican lawmakers recently changed the rules of judicial candidate filing. In addition to eliminating the judicial primary elections this year, they threw out a requirement that candidates had to be registered with a political party for at least 90 days to file as a candidate of that party.
Now that Anglin has filed under the new rules, Republicans are upset, according to an article that ran Wednesday in the Charlotte Observer and the News and Observer.
Republicans worry that by siphoning votes from Jackson, he could open the door for Democrat Earls. GOP executive director Dallas Woodhouse made it clear whom the party supports.
“The party has endorsed somebody, and (Anglin) will be treated like the enemy he is,” Woodhouse said.
Anglin is running as a “constitutional Republican” who assails what he calls “the constant assault on the independent judiciary at the state and federal level,” according to the article.
Though he shared a campaign photo of Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper on his Facebook page in 2015, Anglin said he’s not a Democratic “plant.” He’s also Facebook friends with Democratic Sen. Jay Chaudhuri and Ken Eudy, a Cooper adviser.
“I filed as a Republican to … stand up for the independence of the judiciary,” he said. “…This is not a trick by the Democrats. … I didn’t think I could sit on the sidelines any more and not take action.”
Democrats challenged the judicial election changes in court but U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Eagles ultimately dismissed the case because candidate filing had already begun before she could make a decision.
You can read more about other changes Republicans have made to the judicial system and Anglin’s candidacy in the full article here.