Lewis explained her experience, including her work as a trial judge, sets her apart from many on the Supreme Court, including her opponent Justice Cheri Beasley.
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Judge Ola Lewis believes her experience on the bench, along with her work as a prosecutor and defense attorney, has prepared her to serve on the state's highest court.
"I just have so many unique experiences and all those experiences will walk with me into those doors," said Lewis, senior resident superior court judge for Brunswick County.
Lewis explained her professional background sets her apart from most on the N.C. Supreme Court, including her opponent Justice Cheri Beasley.
Justice Mark Martin is the only justice with experience as a trial judge, said Lewis.
Beasley served as a district court judge in Cumberland County 1999-2008, according to the N.C. Supreme Court website.
"I bring the value of the recent laws and trying those issues," said Lewis.
At issue in this race, won't just be Lewis' experience on the bench but also her political background.
Shortly after being elected as superior court judge in 2002, Lewis switched parties from Democrat to Republican.
"I don't make any apologizes for that decision. It was made with great contemplation and prayer and talk with family members and friends," said Lewis.
"I'm very proud of the history of the Republican party and I believe that I bring great perspective as an African American, black, member of the GOP."
Lewis doesn't think her political background will hurt her run for Supreme Court. In fact, she believes it may help.
"I've already had some statewide exposure, good, bad and indifferent."
That exposure was not just because of politics. It was also the result of her innovative judicial practices.
In Brunswick County, Lewis created five therapeutic courts, centered around domestic violence, DWI and drug treatment.
As a supreme court justice, Lewis says she would adhere to the constitution and wouldn't legislate from the bench.
"I believe that the constitution gives us the guidelines, and the precedent that is established gives us foundation," she said.
Lewis explained that the stakes are high in her race, which she believes will cost $1.5 million to win.
"This race will determine how we will live for generations to come," she said. "The U.S. Supreme Court has signaled time and time again that they will allow the state supreme courts to be the final law of the land in certain state issues, and so the make-up of the court is very important."
Friday, March 7 2014 8:10 AM EST2014-03-07 13:10:59 GMT
SWANNANOA, N.C. (AP/WECT) - State Sen. Martin Nesbitt, who this week stepped down as minority leader because of illness, has died. He was 67. Senate Democratic Caucus Director Ford Porter said NesbittMore >>
Just days after stepping down as the Senate Minority Leader in the General Assembly, state Sen. Martin Nesbitt (D-Buncombe) passed away from stomach cancer.More >>
Wednesday, March 5 2014 8:03 AM EST2014-03-05 13:03:49 GMT
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina state Sen. Martin Nesbitt has stepped down as the Senate's minority leader because of a recent medical diagnosis. Sen. Dan Blue is taking his place. The Senate DemocraticMore >>
State Sen. Martin Nesbitt (D-Buncombe) has stepped down from his position of Minority Leader because of a health issue. Sen. Dan Blue (D-Wake) will be filling the role.More >>
Sunday, March 2 2014 10:02 AM EST2014-03-02 15:02:31 GMT
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A flurry of final-day filings on Friday added candidates to races for seats in Washington DC, Raleigh and southeastern North Carolina. New Hanover County Commissioner JonathanMore >>
Several last-minute filings set up primary challenges for candidates seeking office in Raleigh and Washington, DC. Nearly all Sheriffs in southeastern North Carolina will also have primary challenges in 2014.More >>
Friday, February 28 2014 12:00 AM EST2014-02-28 05:00:12 GMT
FLORENCE, SC (WECT) – Will Breazeale, the 2008 Republican nominee for North Carolina's 7th Congressional District seat, has decided not to run for the same office in 2014. In a news release sent out lateMore >>
Will Breazeale, who won the GOP nomination in the 7th Congressional District in 2008, has decided not to make another run for the office in 2014.More >>
Thursday, February 27 2014 8:05 AM EST2014-02-27 13:05:29 GMT
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - State House Speaker Thom Tillis embraced the Republican agenda he helped push through North Carolina state government as he filed officially for the U.S. Senate. It's the same agendaMore >>
House Speaker became the latest Republican candidate to file paperwork and run for a seat in the United States Senate. Two Libertarian candidates also signed up, bringing the total number of candidates to nearly a dozen.More >>
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