Winning Back the State Supreme Court

During the 2016 General Election, there were several pivotal statewide elections that merited special support and vigilance on the part of the NCGOP leadership. Three of them were the governor, attorney general, and supreme court races. This article pertains to the supreme court.

Any time an organization like the NCGOP suffers a humiliating defeat, it is incumbent on the party to perform an after action review to determine just what went wrong and how to prevent a recurrence in future elections. To date, the governing body of the NCGOP has been provided no such analysis. Frankly, I believe our Chairman is too embarrassed at the outcome to do anything more than rationalize the loss. That’s unfortunate, particularly because we are doomed to future such disappointments if we do not correct the mistakes made by our leadership this past election.

Fortunately, the North Carolina General Assembly has fixed one glaring error- they have passed a bill to identify all judges by political party on future ballots. Our liberal governor no doubt will veto this bill, but the super majority of conservatives in the legislature will likely over-ride his veto and the bill will become law in time for the 2018 election cycle. However, the general assembly does not have the ability to fix the NCGOP leadership inadequacies which also contributed to Justice Edmunds’ defeat; only we can do that.

I have a high-level game plan to win back control of the NC Supreme Court. But first, we need to elect a new, energetic NCGOP Chairman who would never allow such a tragedy to be repeated. (We are on track to make that happen at the June convention.)

Next, we must recognize the need to mobilize conservative voters for the 2018 election- a unique election in which there is no senator, governor or presidential race on the ballot. Traditionally this is a low turnout election- so we have to overcome voter apathy with a concerted GOTV effort. I will arm the counties, precincts and neighborhood chiefs with the digital and print media tools to educate and inform voters about Justice Jackson and help these workers reach all the voters who can help her win re-election.

As Chairman, I will personally consult with Justice Jackson to collaborate and synchronize our respective work on her campaign. I will make sure Justice Jackson’s signs and campaign materials are widely circulated early in the campaign (a major improvement over what happened with Edmunds’ race last fall). I will conduct targeted issues polling to ensure we are shaping voter opinions about the Justice Jackson in certain voting cohorts. Finally, I will share the tips and best practices we’ve observed all across the state so counties and precincts can achieve the results we know we need to win victory. Then, immediately following the election, we will perform a deliberate post-mortem analysis of the election’s lessons learned and adjust our planning for the 2020 NC Supreme Court race.

Under my leadership, we will win both the 2018 and 2020 races, then set our sights on taking back control of the High Court in 2022. We will prevail!


Learn more about Jim Womack here.