ELIZABETH CITY – District Court Judge Jennifer Karpowicz Bland upgraded her voter registration from Democrat to Republican on September 3, the day after she was sworn in to the post for which Democratic Governor Roy Cooper appointed her.
Bland, a former deputy district attorney, now succeeds Superior Court Judge Eula Reid, according to Dare County election records.
It is not mandatory that a member of the political party of the governor or the outgoing judge be chosen by the governor. Historically, however, governors have often favored someone from their own party to fill vacancies.
Bland said his political views were never raised in two pre-appointment talks with Cooper. Bland said she did not contact Cooper’s office about her change of parties until she had completed it.
âI’ve always been a conservative,â Bland said recently. âThis is the party that best represents my values.
In response to the change, Cooper’s office focused on criticizing the GOP-controlled legislature for passing laws in the 2010s to make judicial elections officially partisan again.
âIt’s still wrong now,â spokesman Jordan Monaghan said. âThe governor expects appointed magistrates to present themselves and serve with integrity and to obey the law. “
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