Wednesday, September 01, 2010, 7:10 AM

13 Candidates for Wynn Seat

As readers of this blog know, Judge Jim Wynn was recently confirmed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Wynn's confirmation to the Fourth Circuit created an opening on the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Because this opening occurred more than 60 days before the date of the general election, the North Carolina Constitution requires that the Wynn Seat be placed on the ballot for the November election.

The filing period to run for the Wynn Seat closed yesterday, August 31, 2010. Thirteen candidates have thrown their hat in the ring for Judge Wynn's former seat. The complete list of candidates is available here. The candidates include Judge Cressie Thigpen who was appointed to the Wynn Seat by Governor Perdue on August 23, 2010. Judge Thigpen's appointment runs until the end of the year at which time the winner of the race for the Wynn Seat will replace Judge Thigpen (unless, of course, Judge Thigpen wins the election).

On election day, North Carolina's voters will use an "instant runoff" method to elect Judge Wynn's successor. Voters will be required to rank their top three candidates. If any one candidate receives more than 50% of the first place votes, that candidate wins the election. If no candidate receives the necessary number of first place votes, the two candidates with the greatest number of first place votes advance to the "instant runoff." In the instant runoff round, each ballot counts as a vote for whichever of the two final candidates is ranked highest by the voter. The candidate with the most votes in the second round wins the election.

With the addition of the Wynn Seat to the ballot, 5 of the 15 seats on the Court of Appeals are up for election. The outcome of these races could have a drastic outcome on the composition of the Court for years to come.


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