District Court Judge Freshwater Smith enters NC Court of Appeals race

Judge Beth Freshwater-Smith

WILSON — District Court Judge Beth Freshwater Smith announced she is running for the N.C. Court of Appeals in 2022.

A former prosecutor, Freshwater Smith has 34 years of legal experience and is nationally recognized for her work in the area of juvenile law.

Judge Freshwater Smith said she is excited about running a statewide campaign and honored to kick off her campaign in Wilson with the support of her family, friends and colleagues.

“We need conservative judges on our appellate courts who will apply the law as written instead of using the law to create policy,” Freshwater Smith said in a statement announcing her candidacy. “I look forward to traveling across North Carolina discussing my qualifications and taking my law and order and pro-Constitution message to the citizens of this great state.”

Freshwater Smith worked as a prosecutor for nearly 29 years, serving in Wilson, Nash and Edgecombe counties as a senior assistant district attorney. She was one of only 14 prosecutors chosen nationwide to serve as a member of Georgetown University’s National Juvenile Prosecutors Leadership Network.

She was first elected as district court judge in 2016 and was re-elected in 2020.

Freshwater Smith says her commitment to serving others has given her the experience needed in our appellate judges.

“My experience has prepared me to be an effective judge on the Court of Appeals,” she said. “I have been, and will remain, true to the bedrock principle of equal justice under the law.”

Freshwater Smith was born in Morehead City. She received her J.D. from Campbell University’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law and her undergraduate degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She and her husband, Richard, reside in Wilson. They have been married for 28 years and have two children.