Under the Dome

Losing GOP chairman candidate appointed judge

A Gastonia lawyer who last year lost his bid to become the state GOP’s new chairman, despite backing from mainstream party leaders, has been appointed a judge in Gaston County.

Gov. Pat McCrory announced the appointment of Craig Collins this week. McCrory, Senate leader Phil Berger, House Speaker Tim Moore and U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis all backed Collins.

Instead, last May the Republican Party chose Hasan Harnett, a businessman and author from Concord, to succeed Claude Pope, who chose not to run again after holding the position since 2013.

Collins is a former state prosecutor who has been in private practice since 2007. He earned a bachelor of arts degree at the University of Pittsburgh and a law degree from Villanova University School of Law in 1997.

The vacancy on the district court bench was the result of the death of Judge Ralph Gingles Jr.