Senator Michael Garrett: “Judicial races for all NC courts are as politicized as they have ever been. This is no mistake or accident. It is part of a years-long, concerted effort by Republicans in the General Assembly and their influential donors to reduce our courts to just one more partisan battlefield to be won each election year.”
Democratic State Senator Michael Garrett recently explained how Legislative Republicans have been attempting to politicize the courts for the last decade. In 2004, North Carolina made history as the first state to implement a “clean elections” program for statewide judicial candidates. The program provided campaign funding to candidates in exchange for following spending limits. The program increased public confidence in the courts by eliminating the necessity of political contributions in judicial elections.
Senator Garrett explains that in 2013 Legislative Republicans killed the NC Public Campaign Fund, forcing judicial candidates to raise money in the same ways that partisan candidates do. Then in 2017 they forced through a bill that made judicial races partisan.