Judicial Nominating Committee
Coordinates the balloting process for choosing candidates to submit to the North Carolina governor in filling vacancies on the 26th Judicial District Court bench.
|2021-22 Chair||2021-22 Vice Chair|
|Michael J. Greene
|Maria G.B. Long
|Class of 2022||Class of 2023||Class of 2024|
Sara Page Waugh
Shannon R. Reid, Associate Executive Director
VOLUNTEER NEED / COMMITMENT
The Judicial Nominating Committee meets only as needed upon notice of an upcoming out-of-cycle judicial vacancy on the Twenty-Sixth Judicial District Court bench. The committee oversees the balloting process for submitting nominations to the North Carolina governor in filling such vacancy.
2020-21 Judicial Nominating Committee Report
Michael J. Greene, Chair and Maria G.B. Long, Vice Chair
Periodically, it becomes incumbent upon the 26th Judicial District Bar/Mecklenburg County Bar (MCB) to participate in the process set forth in North Carolina General Statutes Section 7A-142, which pertains to the process of filling out-of-cycle vacancies in the office of district court judge. There were no out-of-cycle vacancies in the 26th Judicial District Court in 2020-21.
Prior to this past year, the most recent judicial vacancy election process here in Mecklenburg was due to then-Chief District Court Judge Regan A. Miller’s retirement in 2019-20. The Judicial Nominating Committee coordinated the MCB’s nominating and balloting process to fill a vacancy in District 26E.
This was the first election that was impacted by Session Law 2018-14 (amending N.C.G.S. § 7A-133), which divided Mecklenburg County into eight separate electoral districts for District Court Judicial seats. District Court Judges were required to run in these new districts in the 2018 general election. However, a subsequent consent order in Alexander v. North Carolina State Board of Elections (Wake Co. Sup. Ct., Nov. 27, 2019) required that the State Board of Elections allow any candidate from within Mecklenburg County to run in the primary elections, suspending the use of the judicial districts established by S.L. 2018-14 for the election. Notwithstanding, the Alexander order does not apply to vacancies that arise in the interim, including the vacancy created by Judge Miller’s retirement. Thus, the Committee required proof of residency within District 26E, in addition to the other eligibility requirements, for a candidate to appear on the ballot.
Following the close of voting on March 25, 2020, the MCB submitted the names of four nominees to Governor Roy Cooper. Those nominees, in order of finish and with the weighted vote totals, were as follows: Heather Taraska (2,840 points), Reggie E. McKnight (2,400 points), Susan Zach (1,902 points), and John R. Anderson (1,303 points). Approximately 1,300 of the MCB’s 5,600 members submitted ballots. On September 4, 2020, the Governor’s Office issued a press release announcing that Reggie McKnight was appointed to fill that vacancy. The term for that seat will expire on December 31, 2022.