A missed opportunity for Barbara Jackson

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)

17 thoughts on “A missed opportunity for Barbara Jackson

  1. This incompetence or deliberate disregard makes one wonder about both Shumaker and the NCGOP bureaucrats under Woodhouse. One wonders how much else was screwed up by this crowd in this critical race.

    Any candidate who wants to win should shun Shumaker, and the party needs to clean house at HQ.

  2. The depth of this political and judicial disaster is still not fully realized yet. It’s just a painful continuation of the Bob Edmunds disaster two years ago which set in motion the forces leading to the Jackson disaster this year. Everything conservatives have worked so hard for during the past several decades has been thrown away in the course of just two years. Unbelievable. Unforgivable.

  3. The overwhelming cause of the problem is the General Assembly…again. They screwed the pooch in 2016 by trying a “retention election” and then not putting Rs and Ds on the ballot for the Supreme Court race. This year, they eliminated judicial primaries and – shocker – another “Republican” entered the race, splitting the vote. If you combined his votes with Jackson’s, she would’ve won (same thing with one of the Court of Appeals races, too). Yes, the party can do a lot better supporting judicial candidates. However, the last 2 Ls for the GOP in the Supreme Court races can basically be laid at the feet of the legislature.

    1. If we had competent people at NCGOP, they would have gotten engaged to try to stop this train wreck at the legislature on judicial election methods. They were asleep at the switch. We need a fruitbasket turnover at both legislative leadership in both houses and in the NCGOP.

  4. This is Barbara. We invited the press. They elected not to attend. After the event, we issued a press release. It wasn’t covered. You can’t be surprised. In the absence of any media coverage, we pushed the Sheriffs’ endorsement out through social media, as did the Sheriffs themselves.

    1. With all due respect, it’s astounding that you couldn’t get it in print ANYWHERE in North Carolina. I think you were poorly served on the PR side.

      I saw on your Twitter feed that the Chatham County GOP had a blurb about the endorsement on their Facebook page on November 1. What kind of reach could that have had?

      1. There was more traction on Facebook. The Sheriffs and other law enforcement organizations who endorsed me also were pushing my campaign through their organizations, for which I am deeply grateful.

        Media coverage of this race was a challenge from the start, beginning with Anne Blythe’s insistence on referring to the seat as an open seat, rather than being held by an incumbent seeking re-election. When the N&O profiled the race in the final weeks, they linked to prior articles about both of my opponents. They linked to Ballotpedia for me because they hadn’t covered me. You know the narrative. That’s why you write.

        1. But there was so much you could have used against Earls. I had the transcript where she was praising marxism. She had the record of defending cop-killers. She argued against voter ID in front of your and other courts. She’d likely have to recuse herself from half of the calendar.

          Your team let her get away with running these cutesie-pie ads of her smiling and hugging little white children. You needed to define yourself but you also needed to educate folks on your opponents.

          winning a judicial race is all about name ID, You had some great troops on the ground in certain areas putting out signs in certain areas. But you were not reaching the majority of the electorate. I bet most of the people who voted had no idea you were the GOP incumbent. But that’s what you pay your high-dollar consultants for.

          1. Brant, you’re a beast. Great talking points. We’ve got to do something to help candidates help themselves.

  5. 1) Shun Shumaker.
    2) Purge Republican legislative leadership.
    3) Insist on the resignations of NCGOP leadership. Since they probably lack the honor to leave, throw them out at the soonest opportunity.

    If this can’t be accomplished, we should make a mass exodus to the Constitution Party. How much more sabotage and incompetence can we stomach?

    Justice Jackson: Thank you for your service. You won my county.

  6. The loss of this Supreme Court seat rests squarely with the Republican leadership in the General Assembly. They would not listen to sound reason and went ahead with the foolish provision to do away with all primaries in judicial races. This allowed the Democrats to maneuver to get two Republican candidates on the ballot which effectively killed that chances of a distinguished jurist to get re-elected and paved the way for a radical to be on that court with a 5-2 Democrat majority. The same few people threw away the Edmunds seat also and paved the way for Morgan. We will reap the whirlwind because of this. The general assembly needs to stop being a top-down institution run by a few and become the deliberative body it was intended to be.

  7. I dropped out of the Demonicrat party during Slick Willies first tenure and have voted Republican ever since! I registered as unaffiliated because I think the establishment leadership of BOTH parties is corrupt and are deceitfully trying to steer our nation towards a one world government! This debacle from Republican “leadership” is further confirmation of my suspicions!!!

  8. The average Republican in NC has no idea how badly inept GOP leadership in this state really is. If you really want to see an unfolding RINO disaster, look no further than the Republican-appointed UNC Board of Governors.They have no conservative, reform agenda and literally no idea what they are doing other than upholding and legitimizing the leftist UNC establishment. It is too sad to watch.

  9. Any political consultant worth her or his salt would NEVER allow a campaign sign that used such a small font. Yes, I know later signs enlarged the surname, but seriously, Justice Jackson was badly served by her consultants. Where were human interest, “touchy-feely” tv spots to counter Earls’ story? And GOP leadership, where was your support? Be ashamed! We foot soldiers are sick of the way judicial races were run.

Comments are closed.