• 59°

Candidate says NC Supreme Court race unlike any other

By Josh Bergeron


SALISBURY — Supreme Court Judge Bob Edmunds says he’s never seen a seen a race quite like the one he’s hoping to win on Tuesday.

Edmunds, running for re-election to the NC Supreme Court, won eight-year terms in the 2000 and 2008 election. In his bid for another term, he faces Superior Court Judge Mike Morgan.

There’s no partisan affiliation listed on ballots, but political parties have rallied around their favorite candidates — Edmunds for the Republicans and Morgan for Democrats. Partisan promotion of candidates in nonpartisan races isn’t unique. What’s different than his past bids for the court, Edmunds said, is the amount of “outside money” being spent on the race.

“It’s also the first time I’ve had a race that’s gotten on the front page of newspapers,” Edmunds said in an interview with the Salisbury Post. “You know, when you talk about a judicial race, we’re not really high profile people. It’s unusual and to a degree uncomfortable. … I just want to be a judge. I don’t want to be a political figure.”

Edmunds visited Rowan County on Tuesday to speak with a school group at the local Republican Party Headquarters. Along with other elected officials, Edmunds spoke to the school group about the functions of government. He also visited employees at the Rowan County courthouse.

Outside groups, such as political action committees, have spent money on North Carolina Supreme Court races previously. Edmunds, however, hasn’t run for office since the 2010 Citizens United decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. Current estimates of outside spending in the 2016 race top $2 million. The 2016 race is seen as critical because it will determine the court’s partisan majority.

It may be among North Carolina’s most-watched elections, but Edmunds said there’s a “quantum leap” between the N.C. Supreme Court and the gubernatorial, U.S. Senate and presidential races in North Carolina.

Despite differences from past years, Edmunds says he’s campaigning as if it were a nonchalant election.

“I’m running on my resume, record and achievements in the office,” Edmunds said. “You’ve got the outside money coming in, but it’s nothing that the candidates can control.”

When he’s asked about what he’s done in office, Edmunds says he frequently cites a teacher tenure case he authored the opinion for. In his opinion for the court, Edmunds found unconstitutional a state law that rid teachers of protections they previously earned.

“What I tell people really is that you can read all my opinions, they’re all available online,” Edmunds said. “Most folks, of course, haven’t. Look at who’s endorsing me: four former chief justices, two Republicans and two Democrats; most of the former leadership of state bar presidents; over 90 of the sheriffs. I mean these people aren’t easily fooled. If I was doing a bad job, they’d be endorsing someone else.”

Edmunds says voters, when casting a ballot, should think about a candidate’s “respect for the rule of law” and professional accomplishments as an appellate judge.

On ballots, Edmunds will appear with Morgan as the first race under nonpartisan offices.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.



Locals to be inducted into NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame


Fall fun, with a twist: Patterson Farm adjusts to guidelines, offers new version of traditional events


Sayers, Piccolo friendship lives on in ‘Brian’s Song’


Partners in learning passes last year’s special needs fashion show fundraiser with all-virtual event




Former history teacher to use ‘working knowledge of the issues’ in state House race


Chamber adds more than 50 new businesses during Total Resource Campaign


School board candidates for Salisbury seat split on consolidation


Virtually no internet: Rural NC families struggle with online access for school-age children


Horizons Unlimited taking learning to students this semester


NTSB: Pilot’s actions likely caused Earnhardt Jr. plane crash


2 Louisville officers shot amid Breonna Taylor protests


Seven new COVID-19 positives reported at Piedmont Correctional


Blotter: Police respond to shots fired call outside of Salisbury home


Rowan tied for fifth among counties for most COVID-19 deaths


‘Nudge from God’: 10 years after diagnosis, Rockwell man to receive kidney from live donor


Salisbury police warn residents after increased trailer thefts


Elon heightens alert as 32 test positive; Wake Forest in good shape to continue instruction as is


Corn picker catches fire at Knox Farm, destroying nearly eight acres


House easily passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown


Supreme Court vacancy looms large in 2nd NC Senate debate


Additional COVID-19 death reported in Rowan; Cooper announces small business relief


Asheville man charged with heroin possession following traffic checkpoint


Susan Cox conceding school board race, putting support behind opponent