Raleigh, N.C. — Shortly before candidates could start filing their paperwork and officially call themselves candidates for next year’s elections, the state Court of Appeals on Monday halted filing for U.S. House and legislative races as it weighs a legal challenge to new district maps adopted last month.
“The North Carolina Court of Appeals just issued an order temporarily suspending filing for congressional and legislative offices,” Paul Cox, associate general counsel for the State Board of Elections, told local elections directors in an email shortly before 11:40 a.m.
“By order of the court, the county boards may not file candidates for State House and State Senate until further notice,” Cox wrote. “Likewise, the State Board may not file candidates for U.S. House until further notice.”
Filing in other races, including North Carolina’s U.S. Senate contest, judicial races and local races, continued as planned.
This is a continuation of lawsuits a lower court heard arguments on Friday. Those judges decided not to order a delay, but the issue was appealed to the Court of Appeals and may ultimately be decided by the state Supreme Court.
The Court of Appeals told parties in the case to have written arguments in by Thursday at noon.
More to come on this developing story…
A potentially confusing election season kicks off Monday with the start of filing, meaning candidates can put in paperwork to run for a slew of offices.
North Carolina has a U.S. Senate race in 2022, 14 congressional races, 170 General Assembly races and a slate of judicial, district attorney, county and school board races. Because lawmakers redrew districts this year, more names on your ballot may be unfamiliar – either because you’re in a new district or due to the game of musical chairs this sort of shuffling sets off.
You can double check your voter registration and see what districts you’re in online.
In the Triangle, long-time Democratic 4th District Congressman David Price won’t stand for re-election, meaning his seat will have a new occupant for the first time since 1997. Out east, Democratic 1st District Congressman G.K. Butterfield also won’t run again, triggering a crowded race for his old seat.
North Carolina will get a new U.S. Senator, too, with Republican Sen. Richard Burr’s pending retirement. There are no statewide races this year for governor or lieutenant governor, but every seat in the North Carolina House and Senate is up, as they are every two years.
The state’s election schedule has been in doubt. Litigants were in court Friday afternoon on multiple lawsuits targeting election maps drawn by the legislature’s Republican majority, arguing they’re unfair gerrymanders meant to lock in GOP power. The new congressional map alone is expected to elect at least 10 Republican members, despite North Carolina’s status as a battleground purple state.
Judges in the cases were asked to push back the state’s election schedule and delay the start of candidate filing, but they declined to do so. A group challenging the maps is appealing that decision.
Candidate filing opens at noon and runs through noon Dec. 17. The primaries are scheduled for March 8.
Because of the pandemic, candidates for some offices will file at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh instead of the State Board of Elections office. That will be handled at the Exposition Center, and candidates need to enter through Gate 9 on Trinity Road, officials said.
Candidates for the following offices must file with the state:
- U.S. Senate
- U.S. House of Representatives
- N.C. Supreme Court justice
- Judge of the N.C. Court of Appeals
- Superior Court judge
- District Court judge
- District attorney
Candidates for the following offices file with their county board of election, though their names will be forwarded to the state board, which publishes a master list of candidates:
- N.C. Senate
- N.C. House of Representatives
- All county offices