Republican judicial candidates band together for 2022 slate

The six Republican candidates working as a slate in the 2022 judicial elections.

RALEIGH — Six Republicans are seeking to replicate a successful strategy used by the party’s judicial candidates in 2020.

Two seats on the N.C. Supreme Court and four on the N.C. Court of Appeals will be on the ballot in the state’s 2022 elections with majority control up for grabs on each court.

Current Court of Appeals Judge Richard Dietz and N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts general counsel Trey Allen are teaming up for the two Supreme Court contests.

Dietz, a Pennsylvania native, was a partner at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP before his election in 2014 to the Court of Appeals. Dietz graduated first in his class from Wake Forest University School of Law and served as research editor of the Wake Forest Law Review. He also earned a master’s degree in judicial studies from Duke University School of Law.

Allen, a Robeson County native, obtained a bachelor’s degree from UNC Pembroke and a law degree from UNC Chapel Hill. He began his legal career as a judge advocate in the United States Marine Corps and his military service included a deployment to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. After being honorably discharged, Allen completed a clerkship with Justice Paul Newby and later joined the faculty at UNC Chapel Hill. He was appointed general counsel for the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts earlier this year.

While at the School of Government, Allen argued that municipalities lacked statutory authority to impose civil fines for violations of Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive orders.

Another candidate, however, has already announced she would also run for the Republican nomination for one of the seats.

Court of Appeals Judge April Wood, who was elected in November 2020, announced at two regional Republican party meetings on April 24 that she would run for the Supreme Court as well — setting up at least one prospective primary campaign.

Wood said in remarks and on Facebook that she wanted to run for the Supreme Court in 2020 but ultimately chose to run for Court of Appeals, and was “definitely running” this cycle for the high court after two years on the appellate court.

Court of Appeals incumbents Chief Judge Donna Stroud and John Tyson are seeking re-election and will be joined by Michael Stading and Julee Flood.

Stroud, a Kinston native, earned her Juris Doctor cum laude from the Campbell University School of Law in 1988 and ranked first in class for each year of law school. She has served on the Court of Appeals since 2006 and was appointed chief judge earlier this year.

Tyson, a Cumberland County native, has served for nearly 20 years on the Court of Appeals and was most recently elected in 2014.

Michael Stading, a District Court judge in Mecklenburg County, announced his candidacy in late January for the N.C. Court of Appeals. He was elected to the bench in 2018. He also serves as a JAG Officer in the U.S. Air Force, was sworn as a special assistant U.S. attorney, and formerly worked as an assistant district attorney in Mecklenburg County.

“Conservatives all over North Carolina are counting on a judge who will defend their values and freedoms on the Court of Appeals, and I will do exactly that. I couldn’t be more thankful for the support of so many North Carolina conservatives who have encouraged me to run so far,” said Stading.

Stading is a North Carolina native and attended UNC Chapel Hill. He earned his law degree from Campbell University and lives in Mint Hill.

Flood lives in Wake County and is a graduate of the University of Florida (BS, MS), the University of Maine (MPA), the University of New Hampshire (JD) and the University of Tennessee (PhD). She worked as a visiting fellow at Elon Law and has completed clerkships in federal and state appellate courts in Maine, New Hampshire, Tennessee and North Carolina.

Flood is also in-house counsel and advisor for a multi-state veterinary-services business she co-founded that employs approximately 50 people. She also works as an attorney at the Court of Appeals, with collective experience supporting nine judges and justices in federal and state appellate courts.