An Anson County lawyer will soon find herself facing the courtroom from the bench.
Gov. Roy Cooper last week appointed Sophia Gatewood Crawford as a district court judge in District 16A, serving Anson, Richmond, Scotland and Hoke Counties. She replaces Judge Lisa Thacker, who retired earlier this year.
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.
Cooper also appointed one superior court judge and four other district court judges.
“Superior and district court judges are so important to our justice system and hear cases critical to their communities every day,” Cooper said in a statement. “These appointees bring strong experience to the bench and I believe they will serve the people of our state well.”
Crawford could not be reached for comment.
Another Anson County attorney, Scott Forbes, and Richmond County magistrate Holly Smith also threw their proverbial hats in the ring to don the robe and bang the gavel.
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.
She was honored a few weeks back with the Order of Long Leaf Pine, presented at a retirement party in Richmond County.