RALEIGH – Being that Republican judicial candidates have mostly been neglected by the NCGOP over the last several election cycles — resulting in a wave of pivotal judicial election wins for Democrats — it makes sense the conservative judicial candidates on the 2020 ballot would want to form their own team effort. That’s exactly what a group of conservative judges running for North Carolina’s highest courts are doing.
The idea was sparked by originalist N.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby, who is running for chief justice in 2020 as the lone Republican on the high bench, making him the de facto team captain. Joining him in the conservative justice lineup are:
- N.C. Court of Appeals Judge Phil Berger Jr., running for NC Supreme Court
- Former state Sen. Tamara Barringer of Wake County, running for NC Supreme Court
- Superior Court Judge Jeff Carpenter, NC Court of Appeals
- Appeals Court Judge Chris Dillon, NC Court of Appeals
- District Court Judge Fred Gore, NC Court of Appeals
- District Court Judge Jefferson Griffin, NC Court of Appeals
- District Court Judge April Wood, NC Court of Appeals
Justice Newby has actually served in this ‘team captain’ role for some time as he has championed the cause of a constitutional judiciary and judges that respect and understand the precepts the enshrine the self-evident truths of our nation’s founding. Despite opportunities for conservatives to defend the constitution on the bench with electoral victories, back burner treatment from the NCGOP in recent years has given Democrat judicial wins that are proving pivotal. Necessity being the mother of all invention, the Conservative Judges Team Ticket comes in response to that negligence.
Most of the team effort will be directed at messaging as they try to articulate a clear and harmonic note of conservatism for voters to here.
From the Carolina Journal:
“[…] “I’ve been involved in politics for a long time,” Berger said. “I’ve never seen this level of focus and organization by all the Republican judicial candidates on this scale.”
Berger said he thinks public interest in judicial races has grown. The Supreme Court holds a 6-1 Democratic majority. Democrats have flipped three of those seats since 2016.
The plan could backfire if one candidate hits a bump along the campaign trail, said David McLennan, professor of political science at Meredith College.
But innovation is smart, he said. With campaigns for governor, president, and U.S. Senate, a fresh new strategy in the lower-profile judicial races might help cut through the clutter.
It’s the first time McLennan has seen North Carolina judicial candidates run a coordinated campaign. He’s also not aware of any other states where this has happened. Governors and lieutenant governors sometimes run together in N.C., but not judges. […]”
We talk a lot about the Democrats’ ‘Sue til Blue’ strategy. The success of that strategy hinges on there being liberal activist judges in place to hand the Left lawsuit wins. As such, it has rarely been more important that Republican voters renew their membership in the Conservative Judges Fan Club, pick up their pom-poms, and cheer this team on to 2020 victory. Otherwise we’ll be forfeiting the competition to our opponents, and it’s a loss North Carolinians can ill afford.