Four appellate court seats to be decided
RALEIGH -- If Republicans control the legislature and governor's office next year, 2012 could be the last time that North Carolina voters go the polls to select judges without party labels.
State Republicans have made no bones about their distaste about selecting judges on a nonpartisan basis.
Former GOP state chair Tom Fetzer noted earlier this year that many Republicans believe the legislature's decision in 2004 to drop the Rs and Ds next to judicial candidates' names came because of Republican successes in judicial elections.
The argument for dropping partisan labels on the election ballot was that the law shouldn't be partisan.
This year, North Carolina voters will decide four appellate court races without those labels.
Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby, who is seeking a second ...