Hundreds filed for congressional, legislative and county positions Monday as the North Carolina candidate period opened, but not before yet another court ruling was issued from reams of pending litigation seeking to alter more districts or filing dates. Hours before election board offices statewide began accepting candidate forms at noon, a panel of state trial judges denied a motion by Democrats and voting rights g roups seeking changes to more than a dozen state House districts in and around Raleigh and Charlotte. The decision against those who originally sued over General Assembly maps approved in 2011 and favoring Republicans means districts in those areas approved last summer by the GOP-controlled legislature are being used for primary and general elections this year.
Attorneys for Democrats and their allies and Republican lawmakers have been in court seemingly non-stop since the fall over legislative redistricting, congressional redistricting and a law that canceled primaries for judicial elections this year. On Friday, a federal appeals court panel agreed to delay a lower court order that would have restored appeals court primaries and required candidate filing for those jobs to begin Monday, too.
Instead, filing began Monday for North Carolina’s 13 congressional seats and all 170 seats in the legislature, as well as for local district attorneys and for county positions. According to state elections board data, close to 900 people turned in their paperwork Monday for candidate filing, which continues through midday Feb. 28. Filing for appellate and trial judge seats now doesn’t begin until June.