LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Keep Stroud on Court of Appeals

Voters will make critical choices about the future of the court system in the judicial primaries on Tuesday. We strongly hope you will choose to keep our Chief Judge on the N.C. Court of Appeals, Donna Stroud.

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

This verse hangs on the wall of Chief Judge Donna Stroud’s chambers at the North Carolina Court of Appeals as a reminder for her duty as a judge. Near this verse hangs her commission as the first Republican Chief Judge, signed by Chief Justice Paul Newby.

Justice requires honest judges. Justice demands integrity. Our judicial system and indeed our State depends upon honest and ethical judges. These are difficult times, with so many critical issues coming before our courts, North Carolina must have a strong—and honest – judiciary. Political opinions are one thing; blatant falsehoods are another. Because honest judges are so important for our State, judges have a duty to respond to these attacks to protect the integrity of the Court.

One of the attacks on Chief Judge Stroud was a flyer sent out by her opponent saying she “will never appoint Liberals to positions of power.”  It is true that she will never appoint anyone to any position because Associate Judges on the Court of Appeals have no appointments to make.  If she was trying to imply that Chief Judge Stroud did appoint a “Liberal” to a “position of power,” that is not true.  She has done no such thing.

Judge Stroud’s opponent calls herself a “True Conservative” but was a registered Democrat for most of her life. She switched her party registration from Democrat to Republican a few months before running for District Court Judge in 2016 in Wilson County. It was a convenient switch, to take advantage of the change in the political landscape in her eastern North Carolina county and riding the wave of support for President Trump in 2016. She became a “RINO” at exactly the moment it was politically convenient to get elected as a District Court judge.

Judge Stroud’s opponent still benefitted from her long history as a Wilson County Democrat, even after the convenient RINO switch. On May 3, 2018, Gov. Roy Cooper appointed Judge Stroud’s opponent to serve on Juvenile Justice Planning Committee. See https://governor.nc.gov/news/governor-cooper-appoints-new-members-state-boards-and-commissions.

Judge Stroud has been appointed to boards and commissions by Chief Justice Mark Martin, Gov. Pat McCrory, and Chief Justice Paul Newby. Chief Judge Stroud has been registered as a Republican since she registered to vote at age 18 in Kinston, North Carolina. It was not always convenient or easy for her to be a registered Republican in eastern North Carolina back in the 1980s or in Wake County, where she now lives, but she has always been a Republican her entire life, no matter where she lived, no matter what job she had. She has been an active member of the North Carolina Federation of Republican Women for 20 years.

Chief Judge Stroud’s opponent has no appellate court or civil law practice experience of any sort, either as an attorney or as a judge. Chief Judge Stroud deserves your vote and support based on her proven track record as a Constitutional Conservative on the Court of Appeals since being first elected in 2006.  She has  authored over 1200 well-reasoned opinions and has served on panels of three judges deciding thousands of cases. Her work clearly shows her conservative principles. Every organization, individual, or other endorser who has read her opinions has confirmed she is a principled conservative. IVoter Guide reviewed her opinions and rated her an “originalist.”

North Carolina deserves trustworthy and ethical judges and voters should be dismayed that anyone — especially a judge — would misrepresent her own party affiliation and Democrat allegiances over the years and would allow deceptive and false campaign flyers about Chief Judge Donna Stroud. Our courts and the citizens of North Carolina deserve far better than this behavior from a judge, who has a “free look” this election.

Chief Judge Donna Stroud’s experience and conservative record deserves re-election. She humbly asks for your prayers, your support and  vote in the primary election on May 17, 2022.


Former Chief Justice (Retired) Mark Martin, Justice (Retired) Robert N. Hunter, Justice (Retired) Robert Edmunds, Judge (Retired) Anne Marie Calabria