RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Two Republicans running for seats on the North Carolina Supreme Court beat their Democratic opponents, flipping the partisan makeup of the high court in Republicans’ favor for the first time since 2016.
Republican Trey Allen, general counsel for the state court system, defeated sitting Democratic Associate Justice Sam Ervin IV for his seat. And Republican Court of Appeals Judge Richard Dietz defeated Democratic Court of Appeals Judge Lucy Inman.
Democrats held a slim 4-3 majority on the panel heading into this year. With two Democrat-held seats up for election, Republicans only needed to win one to retake control.
Democrats have warned that Republican control of the judiciary could push state law to the right on a number of key issues, including abortion access, redistricting, voting and gun control. North Carolina is among a handful of states with intense judicial races, and high outside spending, after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June to let states decide the legality of abortion.