Bill making judges races partisan clears Senate

RALEIGH (AP) — The North Carolina General Assembly is one vote from sending to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper a measure that would make elections for local court judgeships officially partisan races again, two decades after the first party labels were removed from candidates’ names.

The Republican-controlled state Senate voted largely along partisan lines Monday night to again require that local Superior Court and District Court judgeships be subject to party primaries starting in 2018. The legislature already halted nonpartisan races for the Court of Appeals and the state Supreme Court in December.

The district and superior court bill still must have one more affirmative House vote before it goes to Cooper, where a veto appears possible. Cooper successfully pushed for nonpartisan Superior Court races while a state senator in the mid-1990s.

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