North Carolina: plan to switch Court of Appeals races back to partisan contests clears Senate, could be House vote Monday

For years the NC has debated switching the state back to partisan judicial races. Earlier this year the NC legislature approved changes to Supreme Court races, keeping nonpartisan races for initial terms but providing additional terms would be obtained via yes/no retention elections. Now it appears partisan races are coming back on the legislative agenda.

HB 8, as amended and approved by the Senate, would switch races for the Court of Appeals back to partisan races. Under the terms the races would be “open judicial elections with party designations”: judges would not be subject to partisan primaries but would indicate for themselves the party they affiliate with on the ballot. The House approved a similar version of HB 8 earlier in the session.

The House is currently adjourned until Monday.

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