ROCKINGHAM — The legal community of Judicial District 16A will meet later this week to cast their ballots to fill a recently vacated district court seat.
According to a memo from Anson County attorney Adam Johnson, president of the 16C Prosecutorial District Bar, members of the Bar will meet Thursday to select three to five nominees to fill the seat left vacant by former District Judge Lisa Blue Thacker.
The judicial district is split into two prosecutorial districts: 16A, Scotland and Hoke counties; and 16C, Richmond and Anson counties.
Thacker stepped down at the end of February, with an effective retirement date of March 1, after 20 years at the bench.
According to Ballotpedia, Thacker spent two years in private practice, first as a law clerk, before joining the state’s side as an assistant district attorney from 1989 to 1997. She was first elected as a district court judge in 1998 and was chief district court judge from 2009 to 2014 and elected to the newly formed District 16A in 2016.
Those interested in picking up her gavel had until April 6 to notify Johnson, in writing, of their intent to be a candidate.
At least three did so: Anson County attorneys Sophia Crawford and Scott Forbes and Richmond County magistrate Holly Smith.
Crawford was admitted to the North Carolina State Bar in 1995 after obtaining a juris doctor from the Wake Forest University School of Law, according to her practice’s website.
She began her career as an associate at Poisson, Poisson, Bower and Clodfelter in Wadesboro and then spent five years as an assistant district attorney before going in to private practice in 2001.
Forbes earned his juris doctor in 2002 at the William Mitchell School of Law. He has worked for several law firms and as attorney for the Anson County Board of Commissioners, according to an online bio.
Before law school, he owned a pawnshop and was vice president of national sales for a retail business.
Smith is a Flordia native and graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar in 2014, and has since been a magistrate judge in Richmond County, according to her resume.
She internned in the 19th Judicial Circuit state attorney’s office in Vero Beach, Florida and the Richmond County District Attorney’s office and was a student practicioner at the UNC Juvenile Justice Clinic.
Following speeches and a secret ballot on Thursday, Johnson announce the nominees and send to Gov. Roy Cooper the names of the candidates recieving the highest number of votes, along with the number of votes each received.
The governor will then appoint someone to fill the seat, which expires in 2020.
Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 or [email protected]