RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Gov. Pat McCrory is picking the North Carolina Supreme Court justice with the most seniority for the state's top judicial post and in so doing boosting the election prospects of one of two fellow Republicans running for chief justice.
McCrory on Monday named Mark Martin to replace Chief Justice Sarah Parker, a Democrat who is retiring at the end of the month after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 72.
The 51-year-old Martin faces Brunswick County Superior Court Judge Ola Lewis in November for election to an eight-year term as chief justice.
Retired Chief Justice Burley Mitchell praised McCrory for sticking to the tradition of selecting the justice with the greatest experience for chief justice when there's a vacancy. Mitchell says that stops justices from jockeying for the job.