Judicial and district attorney primary elections cancelled?

RALEIGH, N.C. — State House and Senate leaders are proposing a provision that cancels the 2018 primary elections for all judicial races and district attorneys. Added on to the conference report for Senate Bill 656, the “Electoral Freedom Act”, is a provision that includes moving the filing date for all 2018 judicial and district attorney races from February to June and eliminates the requirement for a primary for those races.

The reason for the delay is the proposed judicial redistricting called for in House Bill 717 that legislative leaders will not take up this week. By eliminating the primary and pushing back the filing dates from February to June the legislators have more time to “get the redistricting right.”

SB 656 eases ballot access requirements for third parties as well as for unaffiliated candidates. It also lowers the threshold for a primary candidate to win the nomination from 40 percent of the primary vote to 30 percent.

However, the cancellation of primaries and moving of primary date would also apply to the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals races scheduled for 2018, even though those wouldn’t be affected by House Bill 717.