Following a machine and hand-to-eye recount, Cheri Beasley has conceded to Paul Newby in the race for North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice.
Beasley announced her concession on Twitter Saturday morning, more than a month after Election Day.
Today, I called Justice Newby to congratulate him on winning the election for Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court,” Beasley wrote in her official statement. “I offer my very best to him and his family as he moves into that new role.”
“Congratulations to Paul Newby for being elected as the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court,” said NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley in an emailed statement. “Justice Newby ran a phenomenal campaign and will serve with honor and distinction as the Chief Justice on our highest court. North Carolina Republicans made history by sweeping every statewide judicial race. These strategic victories are not an accident but the result of our hard-working volunteers, staff, and candidates across North Carolina, who worked tirelessly to elect conservative judges.”
North Carolina Speaker of the House Time Moore also issued a statement following the announcement: “I want to thank Chief Justice Beasley for her years of service to North Carolina and I look forward to working with Justice Newby on the administration of our state courts system.”
“Chief Justice Beasley broke new barriers and helped create a more just courts system that put people first and always sought to ensure every North Carolinian equal access to the law,” said N.C. Democratic Chairman Wayne Goodwin in a released statement. “Throughout her dedicated, outstanding service over many years as Judge, Justice, and Chief Justice she has been an exemplar of what we strive to see in a fair, impartial, learned, and greatly-respected court. We extend our great appreciation for her leadership and public service, and know she will continue to play an integral role in moving our state forward.”
Beasley had requested a hand to eye recount in a random sample of precincts on Dec. 2. State law permits a candidate to request a sample hand-to-eye recount within 24 hours after the initial recount.
She requested the initial recount in a letter to the State Board of Elections. When that recount was requested, the margin between the candidates stood at 406 votes, favoring Newby. Several counties subsequently recanvassed, at which point the margin was 416 votes, favoring Newby.
After that initial recount, the margin became 401 votes, favoring Newby.
“The recount showed minor differences from canvassed vote totals, but did not change the outcome of the contest,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “We appreciate the hard work of the county boards of elections throughout the recount process.”
Both Supreme Court candidates had filed a total of more than 100 election protests.
Paul Newby has been serving on the North Carolina Supreme Court since 2004.
He served 19 years as an Assistant United States Attorney in Raleigh.
Newby is currently an adjunct professor at Campbell University School of Law.
Newby earned a law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law and actively participates in the North Carolina Bar Association.
According to his campaign website, Newby describes his judicial philosophy as believing in judicial restraint and supporting enforcement of the Constitution as enacted by the people, of statutes as intended by the General Assembly and of contracts as agreed to by the parties.
Cheri Beasley joined the North Carolina Supreme Court in 2012 and has been chief justice since 2019.
She served as an associate judge on North Carolina Court of Appeals from 2008-2012, and served as district court judge in North Carolina’s 12th Judicial District from 1999-2008.
Beasley has held leadership roles in the American Bar Association and the North Carolina Bar Association.
She earned law degrees from University of Tennessee College of Law and Duke University School of Law.
“To serve this state and the people of North Carolina has been the greatest honor of my life,” said Beasley.