In 2002 North Carolina’s legislature adopted a measure that provides for public financing of judicial campaigns, as well as a nonpartisan elections system for supreme court justices and appeals court judges. This is the first such program in the nation for judicial elections.
The full text of Session Law 2002-158, the Judicial Campaign Reform bill, is available from the North Carolina State Legislature.
In2004, for the first time, statewide judicial elections were nonpartisan and candidates had the option of participating in the public financing program. The election involved 2 seats on the 7-member Supreme Court and 3 seats on the 15-member Court of Appeals seats. Twelve of the 16 candidates running for the 5 seats enrolled and qualified for the public financing program.
More information about judicial campaign reform is available from the North Carolina Center for Voter Education. And Democracy North Carolina played a critical role in crafting the legislation and has a nice section of their web site devoted to Judicial Campaign Reform.
Full Text of Rule: