Politics & Government

Lawyer seeking a seat on North Carolina’s highest court has a criminal record

NC Senate floor debate becomes heated over new judicial elections bill

Senate Bill 3, a bill concerning party affiliation in judicial races, was introduced and voted on after a heated debate on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.
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Senate Bill 3, a bill concerning party affiliation in judicial races, was introduced and voted on after a heated debate on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

One of the candidates for a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court has a criminal record, having previously pleaded guilty to misdemeanor trespassing and DWI charges.

Chris Anglin, a Republican who is one of three people on the ballot this November for the seat held by Barbara Jackson, said Wednesday that he had a drinking problem in his 20s but has since gotten sober.

He also criticized N.C. Republican Party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse, who emailed Anglin’s arrest records to a listserv the GOP maintains, writing, “Fake Republican trying to break into peoples homes and other charges.” Anglin and Republican leaders have been feuding ever since this summer, when Anglin switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party and then entered the Supreme Court race — which is the highest-profile statewide race on the ballot this November.

The other candidates are Jackson, a Republican who’s seeking re-election, and Anita Earls, a Democrat and longtime civil rights lawyer.

Woodhouse has previously said Anglin “will be treated like the enemy he is,” and on Wednesday Anglin said the GOP is acting desperate “by sending something out that occurred almost a decade ago”

Anglin was pulled over in Greensboro in January 2009, around 1 a.m., and charged with driving while intoxicated. He was 23 and had a blood alcohol content of 0.14, nearly twice the legal limit. He pleaded guilty to the DWI in September of that year, and a few months later in December was charged with another crime — attempted breaking and entering. He later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree trespassing in that case, which on Wednesday he also attributed to struggles with alcohol in his 20s.

In an interview after a judicial candidate forum in Charlotte Wednesday, Anglin said he was “incredibly intoxicated“ coming home from a party in Greensboro and tried to enter the wrong apartment, which led to the charges.

Both incidents happened while Anglin was a student at Elon University School of Law. He said that in 2010, he sought help for his drinking problem with a lawyer-assistance program. He said he no longer drinks and does not abuse drugs.

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