A tale of two states: WV has public financing of judicial races + move to nonpartisan races; NC ends public financing + wants return to partisan races

The last two years have thrown the states of West Virginia and North Carolina into sharp contrast against one another.

In 2010 North Carolina had a public financing system for the state’s appellate court races and nonpartisan judicial races. West Virginia had no public financing system and partisan races.

By 2014 the situation was reversed. West Virginia had not only tested a pilot public financing system for appellate races (HB 4130 of 2010) but made it permanent (HB 2805 of 2013). Now last week, the West Virginia House Judiciary Committee advanced a bill (HB 2010 of 2015) to simply end partisan elections at all levels (and require election by districts/divisions).

Meanwhile, North Carolina eliminated its public financing system in 2013 and efforts first seen in 2013 to return the state’s judicial races to partisan elections are apparently set to be reintroduced in the 2015 session. (h/t Gavel Grab)