Voters to Fill Three District Court Judge Seats
Moore County residents on Thursday began casting ballots as part of the statewide early voting process.
The top races of president and governor have garnered most of the attention, but Moore County voters also will be asked to fill two local judicial seats.
Moore County is part of District 19B, and a number of District Court judges are seeking re-election and facing challengers. District Court judges hear a wide range of cases and make decisions that have momentous impact on the everyday lives of people.
In the first of those two races, incumbent judge Rob Wilkins, on the bench since 2009, faces challenger Jane Hughes Redding.
A former assistant district attorney and assistant attorney general, Wilkins has never had any rulings of his 45,000 cases overturned by a higher court.
Wilkins says he tries to pay attention to what lawmakers intended in laws they wrote.
"As I judge, I incorporate that legislative intent into my decision-making process in every case that comes before me to ensure that I am not applying the letter of the law in violation of its spirit," Wilkins said.
Judges seeking election or re-election traditionally - as a matter of judicial ethics - do not make promises as to how they will rule.
"Guilt or innocence is fairly clear-cut," Redding said. "My ability to temper the law would rest mainly in the sentencing phase."
Redding has been an attorney in private practice for 25 years.
The other 19B District Court judge race features attorney Bobby E. McCroskey, of Archdale, seeking to unseat incumbent Judge Don (Skipper) Creed, of Southern Pines.
McCroskey has been in private practice since 1999, handling civil and criminal cases at trial and in appeals to state and federal courts.
"No two cases are identical," McCroskey said. "District Court judges have the discretion to render decisions that fall into a range of outcomes so each case may receive a disposition fashioned to fit the particular facts of that situation."
Creed has been a District Court judge since 2007. Previously, he worked in private practice with two local firms, Rowland & Yauger, in Carthage, and before that with Van Camp, Meacham and Newman, in Pinehurst. Creed was an assistant district attorney in his first years as a lawyer.
"A diverse practice background benefits me," Creed said. "I am better able to understand the positions taken by the parties, their counsel, prosecutors and law enforcement officials. I listen closely to all of the facts and arguments presented and always follow the law in making decisions."
While these and all other judicial races are nonpartisan, both parties have long been actively supporting members running for seats on the bench.
One other 19B District Court judicial race appears on the ballot this year. James P. "Jimmy" Hill is running unopposed for that seat.
Contact John Chappell at (910) 783-5841 or email@example.com.
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