John Arrowood, the Democrat appointed to the state Court of Appeals in April, plans to seek election to the same seat in 2018.
It won’t be his first run for a seat on the state’s appellate court.
In 2008, almost a year after being appointed to a seat by Mike Easley, the Democrat in the governor’s office, Arrowood campaigned unsuccessfully for election. He also was among a field of 19 candidates seeking a Court of Appeals seat in 2014, when he was the second-highest vote-getter.
In announcing his plans to run again in 2018, Arrowood cited his previous judicial experience and his 26 years in private practice.
Arrowood specialized in employment and commercial law at the James, McElroy and Diehl firm in Charlotte until getting a phone call from Gov. Roy Cooper in late April.
Judge Doug McCullough, a Republican who was close to mandatory retirement age, stepped down from the appellate bench almost a month before he had to so Cooper would have the power to appoint his replacement. A law passed this year decreases the appeals court to 12 members from 15, effective when judges retire.
Andrew Heath, a budget director under former Gov. Pat McCrory, has announced his plans to seek the same seat as Arrowood.
Heath, a special Superior Court judge appointed by McCrory after last year’s election, is a Republican who practiced law in Wilmington before moving to Raleigh in 2013, when McCrory named him chairman of the Industrial Commission. He was budget director for most of 2016.
The campaigns come at a time when there has been much debate about the politicization of the courts.
Republicans hold a 10-5 majority on the state appeals court, which hears cases in panels of three.
Ann Marie Calabria, a Republican whose term expires in 2018, has announced that she will not seek another term.
Republican Jefferson Griffin, a Wake County Republican, and Mark Dorosin, an Orange County Democrat, have announced their plans to seek the Calabria seat.