Monday, January 03, 2011

No surprise: Thigpen goes back on Court of Appeals

Gov. Bev Perdue has reappointed Raleigh lawyer Cressie Thigpen to the N.C. Court of Appeals, as expected. She first appointed Thigpen to the court last summer to fill a vacancy created when Court of Appeals Judge Jim Wynn was confirmed to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond. But Thigpen lost the seat in the fall election in a 13-candidate free-for-all race in the first statewide contest to be determined by the Instant Runoff Voting process. Voters could vote for their first, second and third choices for the job, and though Thigpen led the balloting on the first round, he had only 20 percent of the vote. When the second and third choices were tabulated, former Appeals Court Judge Doug McCullough, who had lost in the 2008 election, won the seat.

But another vacancy occurred when Court of Appeals Judge Barbara Jackson won the N.C. Supreme Court seat vacated by Justice Ed Brady, who chose not to run for reelection. Perdue named Thigpen, a former law partner of former N.C. Speaker of the House Dan Blue, to the Jackson seat Monday.

In a news release Perdue said, "I am pleased to reappoint Judge Thigpen to the Court of Appeals. He’s earned the respect of his colleagues at the court and his distinguished career both as a judge and an attorney will continue to be of great benefit to this state.''

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