A bi-partisan group of 58 sitting sheriffs (out of a total of 100) emphatically endorsed the reelection of NC Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jackson the week before the election. But NO ONE in the NCGOP hierarchy, the Jackson campaign, or the driveby media appeared to give a damn.
Some of the sheriffs held a press conference in Burlington on October 30 to release the group’s statement in favor of Jackson’s reelection. Not one drive-by media outlet showed any interest. The Jackson campaign didn’t publicize the event. (Confirmed by a Google search.)
Anita Earls, the eventual winner, kept hyping her endorsement by “law enforcement officials” throughout the campaign. But if you looked closer at her list, it was all Democrat candidates for sheriff and former Democrat appointees to US attorney posts.
An endorsement by more than half of the state’s sitting sheriffs — from both parties — is pretty doggone significant. Why was it ignored?
Most media outlets — especially the smaller ones — will print press releases verbatim. They don’t have the manpower out there to cover all that’s newsworthy. It’s a matter of taking time to transmit the info to them.
The Jackson campaign shelled out big bucks to the GOPe’s favorite consultant Paul Shumaker — the same guy who blew Robert Edmunds’s race in 2016. It would be interesting to hear his, um, “wisdom” behind ignoring this endorsement.
The NCGOP has an in-house communications operation meant to support GOP candidates in the general election. How did this event not get support from that team?
This is the latest in a number of observations that leads to one of two possible conclusions: (1) The NCGOP campaign effort was incompetently managed from Raleigh, or (2) certain races were sacrificed or “thrown.”
Either one of those scenarios is deeply disturbing and spells big trouble for the future of the North Carolina Republican Party.
The endorsement letter in its original format is linked above. Here is the full text:
Sheriffs for Barbara Jackson
Citizens of North Carolina,
We the undersigned Sheriffs of North Carolina wholeheartedly support re-electing Justice Barbara Jackson to the North Carolina Supreme Court.
As Sheriffs, our lives have been devoted to upholding the law and protecting public safety. That is why we are asking you to vote to re-elect Justice Barbara Jackson to the North Carolina Supreme Court.
Justice Jackson has served honorably on the State’s highest court for the past 8 years and previously served on the NC Court of Appeals for 6 years. Justice Jackson has proven that she has the judicial experience, competence and temperament required to be a fair and impartial member of the NC Supreme Court. Jackson has a record interpreting the law and deciding what is constitutional; not seeking to make new law from the bench.
Justice Jackson is a law and order Justice who has a practical understanding of the “real world” environment in which law enforcement officers make decisions and perform their duties. Justice Jackson respects the constitutional Office of Sheriff and understands how our ability to perform our duties affects the safety and security of the people of North Carolina.
By far, Justice Barbara Jackson is the most qualified of the 3 candidates in the race to serve on the Supreme Court. Neither of the other two candidates have anywhere near the experience of Justice Barbara Jackson.
One of her opponents, Anita Earls, has never served as a judge on any level. Her background is that of a social justice organizer and attorney who seeks to use her position to push forward a social change agenda. In a video on her website, Earls says “I want to be a judge because I believe we can use the law to get us closer as a society to fairness”.
Any citizen is free to advocate for changes in our society and the law. And we support that right for every citizen. It is the role of the legislature to enact the laws of our State. The Courts decide what is constitutional under the law. It is not the role of justices and judges to legislate from the bench.
The other candidate in the race is Chris Anglin. He also has no judicial experience and it appears his candidacy may be a ploy to siphon votes from Barbara Jackson as they are both of the same party affiliation on the ballot. However, Anglin changed his party affiliation to the same party as Jackson only three weeks before he filed to run for the NC Supreme Court thus splitting the vote. Make no mistake… a vote for Chris Anglin is a vote for Anita Earls and only serves to take votes away from Justice Barbara Jackson.
Judicial races are often overlooked on Election Day, with many voters randomly choosing a candidate or skipping over that race all together. However, we believe the choice for North Carolina Supreme Court is one of the most important on the ballot and for those who believe in the rule of law and the Constitution, the choice is clear.
As members of both political parties our message is not about politics, it’s about electing the best and most qualified person to serve on our Court. Please join us in voting for Justice Barbara Jackson and please tell your friends & family about the importance of their vote for the future of North Carolina.
Sincerely and respectfully,
Terry Johnson, Alamance County
Jim Hartley, Ashe County
Kevin Frye, Avery County
Ernie Coleman, Beaufort County
Jim McVicker, Bladen County
Van Duncan, Buncombe County
Brad Riley, Cabarrus County
Alan Jones, Caldwell County
Rodney Meads, Camden County
Asa Buck, Carteret County
Coy Reid, Catawba County
Derrick Palmer, Cherokee County
Dwayne Goodwin, Chowan County
Vic Davis, Clay County
David Grice, Davidson County
J.D. Hartman, Davie County
Blake Wallace, Duplin County
Mike Andrews, Durham County
Brindel Wilkins, Granville County
B.J. Barnes, Guilford County
Wes Tripp, Halifax County
Wayne Coats, Harnett County
Greg Christopher, Haywood County
Charles McDonald, Henderson County
Guire Cahoon, Hyde County
Darren Campbell, Iredell County
Steve Bizzell, Johnston County
Danny Heath, Jones County
Tracy Carter, Lee County
David Carpenter, Lincoln County
Robert Holland, Macon County
Tim Manning, Martin County
Ricky Buchanan, McDowell County
Irwin Carmichael, Mecklenburg County
Donald Street, Mitchell County
Chris Watkins, Montgomery County
Neil Godfrey, Moore County
Keith Stone, Nash County
Hans Miller, Onslow County
Chris Davis, Pamlico County
Carson Smith, Pender County
Dewey Jones, Person County
Robert Graves, Randolph County
Ken Sealy, Robeson County
Sam Page, Rockingham County
Kevin Auten, Rowan County
Chris Francis, Rutherford County
Jimmy Thornton, Sampson County
Mike Marshall, Stokes County
Curtis Cochran, Swain County
David Mahoney, Transylvania County
Darryl Liverman, Tyrrell County
Eddie Cathey, Union County
Donnie Harrison, Wake County
Johnny Barnes, Washington County
Larry Pierce, Wayne County
Ricky Oliver, Yadkin County
Gary Banks, Yancey County
Litchard Hurley, Randolph County; (Retired)