10/13/04 — Eight vie for Supreme Court position

View Archive

Eight vie for Supreme Court position

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on October 13, 2004 1:57 PM

Though eight people are vying for the state Supreme Court Justice position, you don't see dramatic television spots or flashy campaign advertisements for the job.

Instead, most of the candidates are campaigning the old-fashioned way, visiting towns and shaking hands. They're seeking to replace Associate Justice Bob Orr on the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Betsy McCrodden, one of those candidates, stopped in Goldsboro on Tuesday to meet her constituents and let them know more about her.

Ms. McCrodden, of Raleigh, has practiced law in North Carolina for 27 years. She has served as a judge on the N.C. Court of Appeals, was an assistant attorney general, and was deputy and chief deputy commissioner of the N.C. Industrial Commission.

After graduating from Randolph-Macon Woman's College with a degree in economics, she received a master's in history from N.C. State University and graduated from the UNC-Chapel Hill law school with honors. She has also taught professional ethics at the law school.

She currently is in private practice, focusing on dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration.

Ms. McCrodden says that her experience as an appellate court judge shows that she has the ability, the temperament and the integrity to be on the Supreme Court.

Ms. McCrodden prosecuted death penalty cases at the appellate level when she was a member of the attorney general's office. She has also defended men on death row at the request of the Appellate Defenders Office.

Seeing both sides of a complex issue has brought a unique and firm understanding of those important cases, Ms. McCrodden said.

"I will bring that understanding to my work as an Associate Justice," she said.

Ms. McCrodden said that as business and industry grows in the state, cases involving workers compensation law and workplace injury claims would become a significant part of the appellate court workload.

"It is time to put someone on the Supreme Court who has experience in this important area of the law," she said. "As deputy and chief deputy commissioner of the North Carolina Industrial Commission, and more recently as a mediator of hundreds of workers compensation cases, I have that experience."

Because the election wasn't called until July, when Orr retired, there will be no primary.

That means that whoever finishes first in the Nov. 2 election will win, even if it's just by one vote.

The other candidates for the Orr seat are Ronnie Ansley, Rachel Lea Hunter, Howard Manning Jr., Fred Morrison Jr., Marvin Schiller, James A. Wayne Jr. and Paul Newby.

The State Board of Elections has information on these candidates and other judicial races at www.sboe.state.nc.us.

Ms. McCrodden said it was important that people know who they want for the job.

"These races are nonpartisan," she said. "If people vote a straight ticket, they won't get to the judicial candidates. They need to who they are in all the judicial races."