Slick Picker-Uppers: Students from Campbell University pose with members of the Lillington Rotary Club, including Richard, at Raven Rock State Park. The group spent a recent Saturday picking up trash and litter from the trails throughout the park as a service project coordinated with Rotary clubs throughout the world.
Resolute Readers: Richard poses with youngsters from Lillington-Shawtown Elementary at a recent awards ceremony. The kids are with their mentors, volunteers from the community who help the children improve their reading ability. Youngsters select a book, read it with their mentor twice, then take it home as part of their own personal library. They select another book and the reading continues. The Read-a-Book, Get-a-Book program is sponsored by the Lillington Rotary Club and will resume in the fall.
|Working the polls: Richard helps voter Claudie Hicks during early voting at the Lillington Commons. Early voting has been slow but steady at the four early voting sites throughout Harnett County.|
Judge candidates question need for partisanship
Democratic judicial candidates are unified in their concern about having to run for seats on the bench under partisan labels. They outlined their reservations about the system at a meet-the-public event for Democratic judicial candidates June 13 in Lillington.
In North Carolina, judicial candidates have had to declare party affiliations since the GOP-controlled legislature mandated it in 2018. Before that, judges had been nonpartisan since 2004.
The change doesn’t sit well with candidates today.
“Facts and the law are all that matter, not partisanship,” noted NC Supreme Court Justice Sam Ervin IV.
Judge Lucy Inman of the Court of appeals, who is running for NC Supreme Court, echoed Ervin’s concern. She said partisanship turns judges into politicians and feeds the public’s misconception that political leanings play a part in judicial decisions. And that’s not true. Judges need to be impartial, she said, and not bend to ideology or political winds.
“Courts have to be above the fray,” added Brad Salmon, a District Court judge running for the 15-seat Court of Appeals along with fellow Democrats Carolyn Thompson, Darren Jackson and Gale Adams.
Richard supported the judges’ view on partisanship and said he would work to eliminate partisanship upon becoming a member of the NC Senate.