Democrat Judge Carol Jones has served on the N.C. District Court, District 4, for the past 20 years. She is being challenged by Republican Robert Gilmore.
Candidate responses have been edited for brevity.
Q Tell us about yourself: Where are you from? How long have you lived in the area?
A I was born and raised in Duplin County, Kenansville, and I have made my home in Kenansville with my husband, Pastor Victor Wilson. I work alongside him in ministry with The People’s Church of Clinton. I am also stepmom to three adult children and we have two beautiful granddaughters in elementary school. I have 20 years experience as District Court Judge of Sampson, Duplin, Jones, and Onslow counties. I was initially elected in 2000, the first female elected to a judgeship in our district, and I am honored to have been re-elected every four years since by the citizens of this district.
As a public servant, I believe it to be very important to always give back to the community. While performing my judicial duties, I have maintained consistent involvement in our schools by visiting the classrooms, participating in Career Days, DARE Graduations, and school and college graduations.
Prior to being elected as Judge, I served this district as an Assistant District Attorney for six years; the NC Court of Appeals as a legal intern; and Coastal Carolina Community College as an evidence course instructor. I was born to a large family of 13 children. I am the eleventh child of the late Sarah and Thomas Jones. After graduating from the public schools of Duplin County, I earned a BA degree in economics from UNC-Chapel Hill, a Juris Doctorate degree from N.C. Central University School of Law, a Fellow of the NC Institute of Political Leadership, and a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Shaw University Divinity School.
Q Why have you decided to run for re-election as District Court Judge?
A I ran for judge for several reasons. My passion for the law which has existed since my youth; my desire to work in local government and to be actively involved in my home community; and my belief that we have a responsibility to be positive role models for the youth.
Of the nine district court judges in our district, I am now second in seniority and experience. I love my job and appreciate the trust and support the citizens continue to place in my candidacy. As a judge, I will continue to uphold our laws and the Constitution of N.C. and of this country, be a positive public official in our community, and treat everyone with fairness and respect.
Q What do you see as the biggest issues facing our district?
A A big issue facing our district in the courts is lack of legal representation in civil matters for persons who cannot afford an attorney on their own. Legal Aid of North Carolina is available to assist but this organization does not usually handle custody, divorce, and equitable distribution matters.
Q How, specifically, do you believe these issues can be addressed?
A As a judge, I can play a role by speaking to the appropriate entities in an effort to remove this obstacle. My participation would only be as allowed by law and by our Code of Judicial Conduct and cannot interfere with my duties as a judge.
Q Why should people vote for you?
A I ask the voters to vote for me because I am the most qualified for the position based on my experience, training, and commitment to the Bench. I have honorably served this district for 20 years in this position and for six years as an Assistant District Attorney. I fully understand the responsibility of my duties as a member of the Judicial branch of government. I do not allow politics nor biases to interfere with my legal decisions and I seek to uphold our Code of Judicial Conduct, our laws, and our Constitution. Everyone who appears in my court is treated with dignity and respect regardless of your education, religion, or gender. Therefore, I respectfully request your votes and I thank you for your support.