Despite an effort by the Republican State Leadership Committee to influence the Supreme Court races in North Carolina, the three candidates targeted by the organization emerged as victors.
Democrats Cheri Beasley, Sam Ervin IV and Robin Hudson won their races for seats on the bench of the state’s highest court.
Hudson, an incumbent targeted in a spring attack ad funded largely by the Republican State Leadership Committee, and Ervin each received more than 52 percent of the vote. Ervin, a N.C. Court of Appeals judge who ran an unsuccessful bid for a high court seat in 2012, collected more votes than Bob Hunter, a former colleague on the state appeals court.
Hunter, a 67-year-old Greensboro native, was appointed to the N.C. Supreme Court in September to fill an empty seat through December.
Hudson won her race against Eric Levinson, a Superior Court judge in Mecklenburg County who had the endorsement of Republican organizations.
Beasley, 48, a Democrat and state Supreme Court justice since 2012, received 50.07 percent of the vote with complete, but unofficial results.
Mike Robinson, 59, an attorney in private practice who received TV ad support from Justice For All NC, a political action committee that received nearly 95 percent of its funding from the Washington-based Republican State Leadership Committee, received 49.93 percent of the vote. The margin is small enough for him to ask for a recount, according to state elections rules.
Robinson, who is contemplating a recount request, according to The Associated Press, must submit his request in writing by noon Nov. 18. The candidates are separated by 3,192 votes.
Chief Justice Mark Martin handily turned back a challenge by Ola M. Lewis, a Democrat-turned-Republican Superior Court judge.
The election results on Tuesday mean that Republicans maintain a 4-3 edge on the high-court bench as challenges to laws, policies and the congressional and legislative redistricting maps of 2011 come before them.