Justice Mark Martin has announced that he will run for chief Justice of the N.C. Supreme Court next year, replacing Sarah Parker, who is expected to retire.
Martin, who is the senior associate justice, sent out a letter this week announcing plans to run for chief justice in 2014. Parker, who will turn 72 next year, will not be eligible to run for another term because of age requirements in the law.
Although justices now run in non partisan races, Martin is a Republican and Parker is a Democrat. The legislature is strongly considering making judicial elections partisan again as they were before 2002.
“I wanted you to be among the first to know that I have decided to to run for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina in the 2014 election,” Martin said in a letter. “We know there will be a hard fight for the open seat created by the impending retirement of the current Chief Justice. However, with your help I believe we can give voters the clear choice that they deserve.''
Martin noted that he has served 20 years on the bench on the Superior Court, N.C. Court of Appeals and the N.C. Supreme Court. He has been on the high court since 1999.
He said he had been endorsed by all five living former chief justices: Republicans I. Beverly Jr. and Rhoda Billings and Democrats Henry Frye, Jim Exum and Burley Mitchell.
The letter includes a fund raising appeal from former GOP Gov. Jim Martin, who appointed Martin to the bench.