North Carolina judicial election, 2008

One justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court and six judges of the North Carolina Court of Appeals were elected to eight-year terms by North Carolina voters on November 4, 2008. This coincided with the presidential, U.S. Senate, U.S. House, gubernatorial, and Council of State elections.

North Carolina judicial elections are non-partisan. Primary elections were held on May 6, 2008 for seats with more than two candidates running. The top two vote-getters in the primary, regardless of party affiliation, advanced to the general election.[1]

Despite the non-partisan nature of the elections, candidates' party affiliations were well-known. As a result of the elections, the Republicans maintained their 4-3 majority on the state Supreme Court. Democrats maintained their majority on the Court of Appeals. Only one Republican (Robert N. Hunter, Jr.) defeated a Democrat in a Court of Appeals race.[2]

Supreme Court (Edmunds seat)

Incumbent Robert H. Edmunds, Jr. [3] ran for re-election [4] and was opposed by Professor Suzanne Reynolds [5] of Wake Forest University Law School.[6] Edmunds defeated Reynolds in the closest statewide judicial race of 2008.

Candidate Popular Vote Pct
Robert H. (Bob) Edmunds 1,562,453 51.02%
Suzanne Reynolds 1,499,978 48.98%

Court of Appeals (Arrowood seat)

Incumbent John S. Arrowood,[7] appointed in 2007, was opposed by former state Board of Elections chairman Robert N. Hunter, Jr. [8]

Candidate Popular Vote Pct
Robert N. (Bob) Hunter, Jr. 1,529,583 53.68%
John S. Arrowood 1,319,800 46.32%

Court of Appeals (Stephens seat)

Incumbent Linda Stephens ran for election, having been appointed in 2007.[9] She was opposed by attorney Dan Barrett.

Candidate Popular Vote Pct
Linda Stephens 1,712,458 58.76%
Dan Barrett 1,202,030 41.24%

Court of Appeals (Tyson seat)

Incumbent John M. Tyson [10][11] was opposed by state District Court Judge Kristin Ruth,[12][13] former Wake County Clerk of Court Janet Pueschel, and state Utilities Commissioner Sam J. Ervin, IV.[14]

In the May 6 primary, Ervin led the field with 37 percent of the vote, followed by Ruth (26 percent), Tyson (22 percent), and Pueschel (16 percent). Ervin and Ruth advanced to the November general election.[15]

Candidate Popular Vote Pct
Sam J. Ervin, IV 1,544,337 53.09%
Kristin Ruth 1,364,830 46.91%

Court of Appeals (McCullough seat)

Incumbent Douglas McCullough [16] was opposed by state District Court Judge Cheri Beasley.[17]

Candidate Popular Vote Pct
Cheri Beasley 1,689,550 57.42%
Doug McCullough 1,253,133 42.58%

Court of Appeals (Martin seat)

Incumbent John C. Martin, the court's Chief Judge, ran for re-election unopposed.[18]

Court of Appeals (Wynn seat)

Incumbent James A. Wynn [19] was opposed by attorneys Dean R. Poirier and Jewel Ann Farlow in the May 6 primary.[20]

Wynn and Farlow advanced to the November general election. Wynn won approximately 48 percent of the vote in the primary, followed by Farlow (37 percent) and Poirier (15 percent).[21]

Candidate Popular Vote Pct
James A. (Jim) Wynn 1,584,857 54.27%
Jewel Ann Farlow 1,335,260 45.73%


  1. Primary Election Voter Guide
  2. AP: GOP maintains edge on Supreme Court
  3. Biography
  4. Edmunds will run in 2008 | projects
  5. Suzanne Reynolds for NC Supreme Court -
  6. Reynolds v. Edmunds for Supreme Court | projects
  7. Committee to Keep Judge Arrowood
  8. Not that Bob Hunter | projects
  9. Judge Linda Stephens for NC Court of Appeals - official campaign website homepage
  10. Biography
  12. Judge Kristin Ruth to Run for NC Court of Appeals | Judge Kristin H. Ruth
  13. Judges jump in race | projects
  14. Ervin campaign site
  15. Morganton News-Herald: Tyson loses bid to retain seat on Court of Appeals
  16. Biography
  17. Judge Cheri Beasley - Home
  18. Judge John Martin NC Court of Appeals
  19. Announcements | Judge Wynn
  20. Candidate Listing
  21. News & Observer: Wynn leads, but Tyson trails
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