Meet the judicial candidates for NC Supreme Court and NC Court of Appeals

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NC SUPREME COURT SEAT 1

Cheri Beasley (D)

Birthplace: 54 years old, born Nashville, Tenn. (Wikipedia)

Education: University of Tennessee College of Law; Douglass College of Rutgers University, Master of Laws in Judicial Studies from Duke University School of Law (campaign website)

Political Experience:

  • Chief Justice, NC Supreme Court
  • First appointed to District Court by Gov. Jim Hunt in 1999 (Wikipedia + News & Observer profile 1/16/08)
  • 2008 first Black woman to win election to a statewide office NC without first being a Governor (Wikipedia)
  • Appointed by Gov. Roy Cooper 2/12/19 as Chief Justice (votesmart.org)
  • First Black woman In NC Supreme Court to serve as Chief Justice (campaign website)

Professional Experience:

  • Associate Judge, NC Court of Appeals (campaign website)
  • Former District Court Judge, Cumberland County (campaign website)
  • Former Public Defender, Cumberland County (Wikipedia and campaign website)
  • First appointed to District Court by Gov. Jim Hunt in 1999. (Wikipedia)

Religion/Civic/Professional organizations:

  • Member First Baptist Raleigh (campaign website)
  • Leadership roles in American Bar Association and NC Bar Association (campaign website)

Family: Husband Curtis Owens; twin sons Thomas and Matthew who are in college (campaign website)

NC SUPREME COURT SEAT 1

Paul Newby (R)

Birthplace: Born in Asheboro, N.C., raised in Jamestown, N.C., graduated Ragsdale High School (campaign website)

Education: Duke BA, UNC Law School (campaign website)

Political Experience:

  • NC Supreme Court Justice
  • Served on NC Supreme Court since 2004 (campaign website) 2012 won his second, eight-year term defeating Sam Ervin IV.

Professional Experience:

  • Assistant US Attorney for over 19 years (campaign website)
  • Practiced law in Asheville with Van Winkle, Buck, Wall, Starnes and Davis (campaign website)
  • Judicial intern at US Supreme Court (campaign website)
  • Interned in Public Defenders office, Guilford County (campaign website)
  • Adjunct Professor, Campbell Law School (campaign website)

Religion/Civic/Professional organizations:

  • Attends Christ Baptist Church in Raleigh (campaign website)
  • NC Bar Association committees (campaign website)
  • Eagle Scout (campaign website)
  • Heroism award for rescuing 9 people from a riptide (campaign website)

Family: Wife Macon Tucker Newby, four children

NC SUPREME COURT SEAT 2

Lucy Inman (D)

Birthplace: Raised in Raleigh, graduated Sanderson High School (campaign website); born in Indianapolis; family moved to Raleigh while she was in infant (Wikipedia)

Education: NC State University, undergrad degree in English (campaign website); UNC School of Law (campaign website)

Political Experience:

  • Justice, NC Court of Appeals, first elected to Court of Appeals in 2014 (campaign website)
  • Appointed by Gov. Perdue as Superior Court Judge, 2010 (campaign website)

Professional Experience:

  • Private practice, civil litigation in Los Angeles and Raleigh (campaign website). Wikipedia says she concentrated on disputes in commercial, media and entertainment law. After moving to Raleigh represented victims of negligence, fraud and sexual abuse (Wikipedia)
  • Law clerk for NC Supreme Court Chief Justice Jim Exum (campaign website)
  • Newspaper reporter (campaign website)

Religion/Civic/Professional organizations

  • Recognized by California State Bar for pro bono work (Wikipedia)
  • Lucy Daniels Foundation (Wikipedia)
  • North Carolinians Against Gun Violence (Wikipedia)
  • NC Association of Women Attorneys, Nat. Assoc. Of Women Judges (Wikipedia)
  • NC Bar CARES, provides mental health, substance abuse treatment for attorneys and judges (Wikipedia)

Family: Husband Billy Warden. Two college-age children (campaign website): Son Willy Warden. Great-granddaughter of Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels, daughter of Jonathan W. Daniels, was an editor of News/Observer and former White House Press Secretary (Wikipedia)

NC SUPREME COURT SEAT 2

Phil Berger, Jr. (R)

Birthplace: Danville,Va. (campaign website)

Education: Wake Forest School of Law (campaign website); UNC Wilmington, degree in history (campaign website)

Political Experience:

  • Elected 2016 to NC Court of Appeals (campaign website)
  • Elected 2006, District Attorney, 17A Prosecutorial District (includes Rockingham County) (campaign website)
  • Unsuccessful candidate for Congress in 2014 (Wikipedia)
  • Represented National District Attorney’s Association, Guantanamo Bay as an observer to US v. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad hearings

Professional Experience:

  • NC Court of Appeals
  • Administrative law judge (campaign website)
  • Private practice with father, Phil and brother, Kevin at The Berger Law Firm (campaign website)

Religion/Civic/Professional organizations

  • Assistant football/baseball coach Cedar Ridge High School; coached Durham Firebirds and Greensboro Eagles; founder/chair Eden Youth Football (campaign website)
  • Former chair of Project SAFE;  reduce violent crime among recidivists/gang members (campaign website)
  • Former Eden Kiwanis Club President, former board member Eden Chamber of Commerce (campaign website)

Family: Wife Jodie Church, two children Philip III and Will. (campaign website); son of NC Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger (Independent Weekly 11/23/16)

NC SUPREME COURT SEAT 4

Mark Davis (D)

Birthplace: Jacksonville, N.C.; grew up in Fayetteville, graduated Smith High School (campaign website)

Education: UNC undergrad degree in political science (campaign website); UNC School of Law (campaign website); Master of Laws in Judicial Studies, Duke University School of Law (campaign website)

Political Experience

  • Appointed, Associate Justice, NC Supreme Court by Gov. Roy Cooper, 2019 to fill a vacancy created with Cheri Beasley’s appointment as Chief Justice, NC Supreme Court (Wikipedia)
  • Appointed NC Court of Appeals by Gov. Perdue in 2012 (campaign website) to fill vacancy created with Cheri Beasley’s appointment to NC Supreme Court (Wikipedia)
  • General Counsel, Office of Governor (campaign website)
  • Special Deputy Attorney General, NCDOJ (campaign website)

Professional Experience:

  • NC Supreme Court Justice on April 3 (campaign website)
  • Private law practices, including with Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge and Rice in Raleigh (campaign website)
  • Law clerk to US District Court Judge Franklin Dupree (campaign website)

Religion/Civic/Professional organizations

  • Member, Congregation Sha’arei Israel (campaign website); member, Wake County Jewish Federation (press release, Gov. Roy Cooper, 3/11/19)
  • Recipient, Order of the Long Leaf Pine (campaign website)
  • Adjunct professor, Campbell University Continuing Education Department
  • Has coached youth basketball and soccer (campaign website)
  • Member Rotary Club (campaign website)

Family: Wife Marcia Schwartz Davis, three children

NC SUPREME COURT SEAT 4

Tamara Barringer (R)

Birthplace: Shelby – referenced as her “hometown” (per Facebook page post, June 5); “Home city”Cary (votesmart.org)

Education: UNC – BS Business Administration, UNC (Wikipedia); UNC School of Law (Wikipedia)

Political Experience:

  • Former State Senator, 17th District, elected 2012; lost in 2018; first UNC full-time facility member to serve in the General Assembly since 1939
  • Chair of the Judiciary Committee

Professional Experience:

  • Clinical Professor of Business Law and Ethics at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC-Chapel Hill
  • Lawyer (Wikipedia) Counsel/Partner, Barringer Law Firm, LLP,  previously Associate Attorney, Poyner Spruill LLP, (Votesmart.org)
  • Adjunct Professor, UNC-Chapel Hill (votesmart.org)

Religion/Civic/Professional organizations

  • Girl Scout leader (votesmart.org)
  • American Red Cross volunteer/instructor (votesmart.org)
  • Champion for Children Award, Children’s Hope Alliance and Benchmarks (Wikipedia)
  • President, Adams Elementary PTA (votesmart.org)
  • Member, National Federation of Independent Business (votesmart.org)

Family: She and her husband Brent were Therapeutic Licensed Foster Parents with the Methodist Home for Children in Raleigh. All of their children are adopted through the Foster Care System.

NC COURT OF APPEALS SEAT 4

Tricia Shields (D)

Birthplace: Elizabeth City (Ballotpedia)

Education: Wake Forest undergrad degree in English (Ballotpedia); UNC School of Law (campaign website)

Political Experience

  • Endorsed by Gov. Cooper (Facebook post 8/10/20)

Professional Experience:

  • Trial/appellate lawyer in private practice (campaign website) Hedrick, Gardner Kincheloe + Garofalo
  • Former law clerk to Chief NC Court of Appeals Judge Fred Hedrick (campaign website)

Religion/Civic/Professional organizations

  • Adjunct professor, Triad Advocacy, Campbell Law School
  • Wake County Bar and NC Bar Association (Ballotpedia)
  • NC Association of Defense Attorneys (Ballotpedia)
  • Top 50 Women Lawyers; Top 100 Lawyers in North Carolina (campaign website)
  • Women of Justice Award from North Carolina Lawyers Weekly (campaign website)

Family: Husband Grady; two sons (campaign website)

NC COURT OF APPEALS SEAT 4

April Wood (R)

Birthplace: Because of father’s military career, has lived in Alaska and Japan before her family moved “back to Lexington.” Graduated Sheets Memorial Christian School (campaign website)

Education: Currently working to obtain a Master of Law degree in the joint program at Campbell School of Law and England’s Nottingham School of Law.  Expected to graduate from both law schools with an LL.M. in Judicial Studies.

Political Experience

  • District Court Judge since 2002; Davidson/Davie counties (campaign website)

Professional Experience:

  • District Court Judge (campaign website)
  • Lawyer, US District Court, Middle District, NC (campaign website)
  • Private practice Thomasville (campaign website)

Religion/Civic/Professional organizations

  • Member, Rich Fork Baptist Church (campaign website)
  • NC Memorial Day Committee (campaign website)
  • Board member, Cancer Services of Davidson County (campaign website)
  • Dragonfly House Children’s Advocacy Center (campaign website)
  • Member, The Salvation Army Advisory Board (campaign website)
  • Member, Epilepsy of NC Board (campaign website)
  • Trustee, NC Theological College and Graduate School (campaign website)

Family: Husband Jeffrey Berg (attorney), three children; daughter of retired Marine and Davidson County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Wood. Her father is sometimes a bailiff in her courtroom (campaign website)

NC COURT OF APPEALS SEAT 5

Lora Cubbage (D)

Birthplace: Born Shenandoah, Va. (identical twin) (campaign website)

Education: NC A&T State University (campaign website); UNC School of Law (campaign website)

Political Experience

  • Elected November 2018, Superior Court Judge (campaign website)
  • Appointed, by Gov. Cooper, October 2018 to Superior Court (campaign website)
  • Elected District Court Judge (campaign website)

Professional Experience:

  • Superior Court Judge
  • Assistant Attorney, NC Attorney General’s office (campaign website)
  • Assistant District Attorney, Guilford Co (campaign website)
  • Barber (campaign website)

Religion/Civic/Professional organizations

  • Love & Faith Christian Fellowship Church (Ballotpedia)
  • Greensboro Bar Association (Ballotpedia)
  • Junior League of Greensboro (Ballotpedia)

Family: Single mother, daughter (campaign website)

NC COURT OF APPEALS SEAT 5

Fred Gore (R)

Birthplace: Supply, N.C. (campaign website)

Education: UNC-Charlotte, BS Marketing (campaign website); Appalachian School of Law, Grundy, VA (campaign website)

Political Experience

  • Elected 2014, District Court Judge, Brunswick, Bladen and Columbus counties

Professional Experience:

  • District Court Judge
  • Served in NC National Guard for more than 27 years
  • Deployed to Kuwait in 2011, Chief Prosecutor and Officer-in-Charge, Brigade Legal team
  • Assistant Attorney, District Attorney’s office for  Brunswick, Bladen and Columbus counties
  • Assistant Attorney, Durham District Attorney’s Office
  • Deployed to Iraq from 2006-2007, Non-comm. Officer, Sniper Small Kill Team training
  • Nike and Summit Marketing
  • Judge Advocate General officer- NC National Guard
  • NC National Guard, infantry soldier, basic training Fort Benning, GA

Religion/Civic/Professional organizations

  • Big Macedonia Baptist Church
  • Trustee, Boys and Girls Homes of NC
  • Executive Board, Cape Fear Council, Boy Scouts of America
  • Army Commendation and Army Acheivement Medals; Army Meritorius Service Medal; Commander’s Coin for Performance
  • Who’s who, American Law Students

Family: Wife Shannon, twin sons

NC COURT OF APPEALS SEAT 6

Gary Styers (D)

Birthplace: Graduated Hickory High School (campaign website); Hickory (Ballotpedia)

Education: Wake Forest (campaign website); UNC School of Law, also holds an MBA, UNC (campaign website)

Professional Experience:

  • Private practice in Raleigh which later merged with Smith, Moore Leatherwood, now Fox Rothschild
  • Utilities Law Specialist as recognized by NC State Bar (Fox-Rothschild bio)
  • Law clerk to Sam Ervin,III, Chief Judge, US Court of Appeals (campaign website)

Religion/Civic/Professional organizations

  • Member Raleigh Moravian Church (Fox-Rothschild Bio)
  • Adjunct professor UNC School of Law (campaign website)
  • Member, Raleigh Kiwanis Club (campaign website)
  • Former President, Wake County Bar Assoc. And former President of 10th Judicial District Bar (campaign website)
  • Helped Legal Aid of North Carolina establish “Lawyer on the Line” (campaign website)
  • Plays trumpet (campaign website)

Family: Wife Barbara, who is Pastoral Assistant at Raleigh Moravian Church (campaign website)

NC COURT OF APPEALS SEAT 6

Chris Dillon (R)

Birthplace: Born/raised in Raleigh, graduated Broughton High School  (NC Judicial Branch bio)

Education: UNC- BS Business Administration (NC Judicial Branch bio); UNC School of Law (NC Judicial Branch bio); Duke University School of law, LLM degree in Judicial Studies(NC Judicial Branch bio)

Political Experience

  • Elected 2012, NC Court of Appeals (NC Judicial Branch bio)

Professional Experience:

  • 2006, started a Community Bank, Senior Vice-President ( NC Judicial Branch bio)
  • Licensed Real Estate broker/real estate investment management  (NC Judicial Branch bio)
  • Private practice, Young Moore Henderson in Raleigh (NC Judicial Branch bio)

Religion/Civic/Professional organizations

  • Taught youth Sunday School at Edenton Street United Methodist. (NC Judicial Branch bio)
  • Adjunct professor UNC School of Law and Campbell School of Law, focus on real estate
  • Has served on boards: Downtown Housing Improvement Corp, Friends of NC Museum of Natural Sciences, North Carolina Bar Association. (NC Judicial Branch bio)

Family: Wife Ann. Both he and his wife come from families of five children. They have five children (NC Judicial Branch bio)

NC COURT OF APPEALS SEAT 7

Reuben Young (D)

Education: Howard University (campaign website); NC Central University School of Law (campaign website)

Political Experience

  • Appointed, 2019 by Gov. Cooper to NC Court of Appeals (campaign website)
  • Appointed Superior Court Judge for the 10th District (campaign website)
  • Interim, Chief Deputy Secretary of Adult Corrections and Juvenile Justice (campaign website)
  • Former Secretary of NC Department of Crime Control, and Public Safety (campaign website)
  • Deputy Legal Counsel, Governor’s office (Mike Easley), 2001; later Chief Legal Counsel (campaign website)

Professional Experience:

  • Assistant Attorney General, Austin, Texas (campaign website)
  • Private practice, Austin, Texas (campaign website)

Religion/Civic/Professional organizations

  • Two-time recipient of Order of the Long Leaf Pine (campaign website)
  • Distinguished Service Medal for NC National Guard while working in Governor’s office (campaign website)

Family: Wife Pamela, two sons (NC Court of Appeals press release 5/9/19)

NC COURT OF APPEALS SEAT 7

Jeff Carpenter (R)

Birthplace: Grew up in Anson County (campaign website)

Education: UNC-Charlotte (transferred from Wingate College) BS Political Science (campaign website); Campbell School of Law (campaign website)

Political Experience:

  • Elected  November 2016 Resident Superior Court Judge, District 20-B (campaign website)
  • Appointed Superior Court Judge, by Gov. McCrory in 2016 (campaign website)

Professional Experience:

  • Superior Court judge (campaign website)
  • Private practice in Anson, Richmond, Stanly and Union counties (campaign website)
  • Former Highway Patrol Trooper (campaign website)

Religion/Civic/Professional organizations

  • Member, Chairman Board of Deacons, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, New Salem (campaign website)
  • Served as attorney for Guardian Ad Litem (campaign website)
  • Certified Family Financial Mediator (campaign website)
  • Sworn to practice in Federal District Court in Western District NC (campaign website)

Family: Wife Love, whom he met during Highway Patrol training. One son. (campaign website)

NC COURT OF APPEALS SEAT 13

Chris Brook (D)

Birthplace: Formative years in Raleigh, graduated Broughton High School (campaign website) born Macon, Ga. (Facebook page and Wikipedia)

Education: UNC (both undergrad and law) (campaign website)

Political Experience:

  • Legal Director of ACLU, North Carolina (campaign website)
  • Staff attorney Southern Coalition of Social Justice, Durham (campaign website)

Professional Experience:

  • Appointed 2019 by Gov. Cooper to NC Court of Appeals  (campaign website)
  • District Court judge
  • Admitted to practice in state, federal courts and US Supreme Court (campaign website)
  • Private practice, Raleigh office, Cranfill, Sumner + Hartzog. (campaign website)

Religion/Civic/Professional organizations

  • Adjunct professor UNC School of Law (campaign website)
  • Chairman, Transplanting Traditions Community Farm (campaign website)
  • Previous Chair Orange County Partnership for Young Children (campaign website)
  • Founding member, law clinic at El Centro Hispano, Durham (campaign website)
  • Attorney volunteer, Compass center for Women and Families (campaign website)
  • NC Justice Center’s Defender of Justice Litigation Award (campaign website)

Family: Partner, Moira Downey (NC Judicial Branch press release 5/7/19)

NC COURT OF APPEALS SEAT 13

Jefferson Griffin (R)

Birthplace: Red Oak, N.C. (Nash County); graduate Northern Nash High School, captain of the football team (campaign website)

Education: UNC and UNC School of Law (campaign website)

Political Experience:

  • Elected 2016 as District Court Judge, Wake County (campaign website)
  • Appointed by Gov. McCrory, 2015 as District Court Judge, Wake County (campaign website)

Professional Experience:

  • District Court Judge
  • Prosecutor, Wake County District Attorney’s office (campaign website)
  • Private practice in Kinston (campaign website)
  • US Coast Guard Captain’s license; worked as charter fisherman on NC coast (campaign website)

Religion/Civic/Professional organizations

  • Member, Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Raleigh (campaign website)
  • Captain, NC Army National Guard, JAG officer. Deployed overseas 2019-2020, assigned to 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team (campaign website)
  • Raleigh Kiwanis Club board (campaign website

Family: Wife Katye

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