Cooper Vetoes Legislation Eliminating 2018 Judicial Primaries
Gov. Roy Cooper has vetoed a bill that would have cancelled next year’s judicial primaries in North Carolina.
The legislature is working on maps that would change many of the districts that judges and prosecutors are elected from. The bill recently passed in the House but has not yet been heard in the Senate.
When they passed a separate bill to eliminate primaries for races ranging from state supreme court to the district level, they did so saying more time was needed to finalize those redistricting plans. It left November general elections in place, but delayed the candidate filing period.
Cooper, a Democrat, vetoed the measure, saying he considers it part of an attempt by Republicans to rig the system to put judicial choices in the hands of legislators, not voters.
"This legislation abolishes a scheduled election and takes away the right of the people to vote for the judges of their choice," Cooper said.
Monday marks the 13th time the first-term governor has issued a veto, with most already overridden by the GOP-controlled legislature.
Rep. David Lewis and Sen. Ralph Hise, Republican leaders of the legislature's elections committees, issued a statement urging an override of Monday's veto. Lewis said the legislation "gives judicial candidates the time they need to analyze any forthcoming changes to judicial maps that the General Assembly may make."
The vetoed legislation would also have reduced requirements for unaffiliated candidates to run in a variety of state and local elections, among other changes.