Judicial Bars Vote On Three Nominees To Fill Judge Rawl’s Seat

SMITHFIELD – Two judicial bars met this week to vote on nominees to fill a vacancy created by the January 31, 2022 retirement of Judge Addie Rawls.  Rawls served as a district court judge in Johnston, Harnett and Lee counties since 2002. 

On Wednesday, a special meeting of the 12th (Harnett and Lee) and 13th (Johnston) Judicial Districts was held to vote on nominees to fill the vacant seat, whose term expires at the end of 2022.

Smithfield Attorney Walter Schmidlin, President of the 13th Judicial District Bar, presided over the meeting in conjunction with Brandon Wallace, President of the 12th District Bar. The election committee was comprised of the Presidents and the remaining District Bar officers Martin Tetrault, Rachel Hairr, Hannah Carroll, and Matthew Stone.

Judge Addie Rawls received a standing ovation at the special meeting. She was recognized and thanked for her dedication to the citizens of the District as a Judge, her community, and the lives she has and will continued to touch both in and out of Court.

Nominees previously submitted were recognized and no new nominees were suggested.  Votes were cast and calculated pursuant to the rules.

Those nominees were:

Craig James: 43 votes
Marcus C. Burrell: 26 votes
Travis N. Wheeler: 12 votes

The names of the three nominees has been submitted to Governor Roy Cooper who will make the appointment.    

“It is crucial to the efficient operation of the courts in these counties that the seat be filled as expeditiously as possible,” the judicial bars stated in a news release.

Any citizen or attorney support of these nominees may be submitted to Eric Fletcher, General Counsel to North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper at: Governor Roy Cooper, Office of the Governor, 20301 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-0301.