North Carolina: full House approves partisan judicial races for appellate courts; House Judiciary I committee wants retention elections instead

I mentioned last week that the North Carolina House Elections Committee had approved a bill (HB 8) to end nonpartisan elections for appellate judges and bring back the partisan elections that were in place prior to 2002. Now comes word that yesterday the North Carolina House went, in effect, in two different directions at once.

The full House approved HB 8 on a 69-48 vote that ran mostly along party lines (all 46 House Democrats plus 2 House Republicans voted against; all votes in favor came from Republicans).

At the same time the House Judiciary I Committee approved HB 222 that would keep nonpartisan elections for the initial terms followed by yes/no retention elections. Given the full House vote, however, proponents aren’t sure how such a move to retention elections will fare before the full House assuming it makes it to the floor.