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Five seats up for election on NC Court of Appeals

The Associated Press

In addition to one seat on the state Supreme Court, North Carolina voters next month get to choose who will hold five seats on the state Court of Appeals. The 15-member intermediate appeals court sits in three-judge panels to hear cases.

Four races feature an incumbent and challenger. A fifth race has three candidates because Court of Appeals Judge Martha Geer stepped down this year too late after the March 15 primary for another primary to be held to whittle the candidates down to two. Court of Appeals terms are eight years.

While Court of Appeals races remain officially nonpartisan, the Legislature recently passed a law putting each candidate’s party affiliation on ballots. Supreme Court races still don’t provide those designations.

The Court of Appeals races on the ballot:

• incumbent Linda Stephens (Democrat) and Phil Berger Jr. (Republican), an administrative law judge.

• incumbent Bob Hunter (Republican) and Abe Jones (Democrat), a former Wake County Superior Court judge.

• incumbent Richard Dietz (Republican) and Vince Rozier (Democrat), a Wake County District Court judge.

• incumbent Valerie Zachary (Republican) and Rickye McKoy-Mitchell (Democrat), a Mecklenburg County District Court judge.

• Hunter Murphy (Republican and Waynesville attorney), Margaret Eagles (Democrat and Wake County District Court judge) and Donald Ray Buie (unaffiliated and Winston-Salem attorney). Wendy Enochs, who was appointed to fill out Geer’s position through the end of the year, is not running for the seat.

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