With all but one of Wake County’s 200 precincts reporting, challenger Craig Croom appears to have defeated Charles Gilliam, an incumbent appointed to a judicial seat in District 10 by Gov. Pat McCrory. Croom had 51 percent of the vote to Gilliam’s 49 percent.
Croom already had 12 years of experience in another District Court seat, after being himself appointed by former Gov. Jim Hunt in 1999.
In North Carolina, District Court judges preside over cases involving general civil disputes, family issues and involuntary commitments of the mentally ill. They also handle some criminal cases, mostly misdemeanors.
District 10 judges hear cases in Wake County. Also in that district, incumbent Louis Meyer, who joined the court in 2012, appeared to have beaten challenger Ronnie Ansley, an attorney, mediator and arbitrator, 52 percent to 48 percent.
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With incumbents for many Durham County offices running unopposed, the big choices for voters there Tuesday were in three contested races for judicial seats in District 14.
With 51 of 57 precincts reporting, incumbent Pat Evans seemed headed for re-election in Durham County’s District 14, with 75 percent of the vote to challenger Steven Storch’s 25 percent. Storch is a magistrate who holds a doctorate in philosophy, which he has taught at Elon University.
Another Durham incumbent, Doretta L. Walker, also was headed for a comfortable win, leading her challenger, Henry Pruette, an attorney who also writes fiction and screenplays. Walker had 61 percent of the vote to Pruette’s 39 percent.
Incumbent Judge Nancy E. Gordon, though, trailed attorney Fred Battaglia Jr., 47 percent to 53 percent.
District 11 judges preside over Harnett, Johnston and Lee counties.
There, with 51 of 59 precincts reporting, incumbent Caron Stewart led challenger Kenneth R. Jones, 59 percent to 41 percent. Stewart was appointed to the post in 2012 by former Gov. Bev Perdue. Jones runs a private legal practice.
Also in District 11, LeVonda Wood trailed Joy Jones, a former assistant district attorney in San Diego who now has her own private law practice, as does Wood. Wood had 48 percent of the vote, Jones 52 percent. The winner will replace Judge Andy Corbett, who is retiring.