NC filing period opens following manic Monday scramble 

Candidates running in the 2022 election file for office. Top row: John Szoka (U.S. House), John Bradford (N.C. House) Bottom row: DeVan Barbour (U.S. House), Warren Daniel (Photo courtesy N.C. Senate)

RALEIGH — The 2022 election filing period began with excitement, then confusion, as a surprise N.C. Court of Appeals decision temporarily blocked filing for congressional and legislative districts. By Monday evening, however, filing was back on and began at 8 a.m. Tuesday with a flurry of activity. 

In an order posted minutes before 12 p.m. Monday, an expedited review conducted by a secret panel of COA judges stayed filing, initially giving legislators until Dec. 9 to respond. 

A memo from House Speaker Tim Moore’s office obtained by North State Journal said at the time that the legal team was “preparing our response and will fight vigorously to ensure that candidate filing resumes at the earliest possible date.” 

By Monday evening, an en banc review, which comprises all 15 judges on the appellate court, reversed the earlier decision. 

Monday’s order did not affect filing for U.S. Senate, judicial and local races. Many of the candidates for the state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals filed on the first day of the period. 

A pair of races already will feature primaries: a Supreme Court seat and chief Court of Appeals Judge Donna Stroud’s seat will be contested in the March 2022 primary. 

Beth Freshwater Smith, who serves as a judge in Edgecombe, Nash and Wilson counties, told North State Journal she is a battle-tested judge with 28 years of experience as a prosecutor. 

“I have experience in the courtroom and on the bench. Now more than ever, we need conservative, law-and-order judges who can provide leadership for our courts,” said Freshwater Smith. 

Several dozen candidates for Congress and the General Assembly filed Tuesday, primarily Republicans, based on the latest filing list from the State Board of Elections. 

Among those filing were Johnston County businessman DeVan Barbour, one of many candidates who declared their intent to run in the new Fourth Congressional District shortly after new redistricting maps were drawn. 

“Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are laying waste to our country. We can’t afford it. We shouldn’t tolerate it. And I’ll fight to stop it,” Barbour said in a statement to NSJ. 

As of Tuesday afternoon, the State Board of Elections has not indicated if it will extend the filing period by any length of time following the one-day delay. Currently, the last day of filing is set for 12 p.m. on Dec. 17.

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Matt Mercer is the editor in chief of North State Journal and can be reached at [email protected]