Thursday, April 18, 2024

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Graham, NC 27253
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Bar association forwards three recommendations to governor for temporary appointment to replace Brad Allen until November election

The local bar association has made its recommendations of three local attorneys who the governor should consider to fill the 10 months remaining before the election in November to fill the remaining two years on the term of former district court judge Brad Allen, who resigned February 1.

The leading vote-getter among the association’s attorneys was Bryan Ray, who received 30 votes. The local Republican party has already designated Ray to be on the ballot as their candidate for the remaining two years on Allen’s term.

Bryan Ray

The second-place finisher is Natalie Jones, who got 23 votes; Jones is already on the November ballot for a different district court judgeship – a fifth district court judgeship established by the General Assembly which will take effect with the election in November.

Natalie Jones

Further complicating the governor’s future decision is that the third-place finisher, Bryan Norris, who received 17 votes, is the Democratic Party’s nominee to be on the November ballot for Allen’s seat.

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Bryan Norris, Jr.

Governor Roy Cooper recently appointed attorney Doug Green to fill the remaining months of former district court judge Rick Champion’s seat, after Champion was appointed as the county’s first public defender.  Green filed and will be on the November ballot for the seat to which he was appointed by the governor.  County commissioner Craig Turner is the Republican nominee for the same district court judgeship.

Under state law, the governor is urged to consider the recommendations of the bar association, although he is not limited to their recommendations.   Up to five nominees could have been sent to the governor, but only three applied to be on the ballot at the special-called meeting held Monday, February 26.

Under the association’s bylaws, each voting member could select either one, two, or three names on their ballots.

All five district court judgeships will be on the November ballot.  In addition to the partial term for Allen’s seat, and the term for Rick Champion’s seat, incumbent district court judges Kathryn Whitaker “Katie” Overby and Larry Brown will be on the ballot without opposition for reelection to their district court judgeships.

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