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Below are statements by the candidates, in alphabetical order, seeking the Second Judicial District seat, which has jurisdiction in the counties of Beaufort, Hyde, Martin, Tyrrell and Washington.
As much as the Ocracoke Observer dislikes political affiliations on the ballot for judicial races, those affiliations are listed.
Darrell B. Cayton (Incumbent, Democrat)
Cayton has held this position since Jan. 1, 2011.
My purpose for seeking reelection is to continue serving our community in the Second Judicial District, which includes Hyde, Beaufort, Martin, Washington and Tyrrell counties.
I was born in Beaufort County and have lived in this Second Judicial District my entire life. I practiced law in North Carolina continuously from the fall of 1987 until Dec. 31, 2010, the day prior to being sworn in as a District Court judge.
I opened my own law office in April 1990 and closed it over 20 years later upon being elected District Court Judge. During the course of that time my law office opened more than 5,400 new client files. My law office was primarily a district court trial practice. I have tried multiple district court cases as a lawyer in all five counties of our district. That practice included trying Hyde County cases in the old courthouse, the new courthouse and the fire station when neither of the other courthouses was available.
My private practice experience included over 20 continuous years of district court criminal cases, civil cases, juvenile cases and social services cases, the exact types of cases that a district court judge hears. My private practice experience made the transition from district court lawyer to district court judge a smooth one.
My judicial philosophy is that there are no second-class citizens. Everyone is treated equally, fairly. It does not matter if a person is male, female, black, white, young, old, rich or poor. I decide cases based upon the evidence presented and the law that applies.
Our legal system resolves controversies. Not everyone will be happy with the outcome of their case. I did not shy away from hard decisions as a lawyer. I have not shied away from hard decisions as a judge and I will not shy away from hard to decisions if reelected.
I have the most stability, best work ethic and by far the most district court legal experience to best serve the citizens of our district as your district court judge. I ask that you vote Darrell B. Cayton, Jr. for reelection to the district court bench.
Sarah A. Homes (Republican)
Homes has held the position of Hyde County magistrate since November 2014.
I graduated in 1974 from WHS in Washington, Beaufort County. I completed my undergraduate studies and received a B.A. in business from North Carolina State University in 1978. I attended the University of Arkansas School of Law where I graduated with a juris doctorate in December 1993.
Solo practitioner, October 2005 to November 2014
Second District Attorney’s Office, assistant D.A., March 2003 to November 2003
Seventh District Attorney’s Office, Assistant D.A., January 2001 to March 2003
Solo practitioner, February 1999 to December 2000
Cumberland County Public Defender’s Office, Assistant PD, October 1997-January 1999
Reid, Lewis, Deese, Nance & Person, Associate Attorney, February 1995 to October 1997.
Qualifications: I’ve been licensed to practice law since March 1994 when I first passed the Arkansas Bar, and then from September 1994 when I was also admitted to the North Carolina State Bar. I was accepted to the Federal District Court, Eastern Division of N.C., in 1994. While in Cumberland County, I served as president of the Young Lawyer’s Association. I’ve been a member of the Second Judicial District Bar Association for 15 years and served as the secretary/treasurer of that organization from 2008 to 2015.
During all those years, I was the sole custodial parent for my daughter and the sole breadwinner for our family. As a single mother, I raised a successful daughter and then became the sole caretaker of my aged father for nearly 10 years until his death from Alzheimer’s Disease in 2016.
As an attorney and magistrate, I am and have been a strong supporter of the rule of law and our law enforcement officials. I’m sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution, the North Carolina Constitution and the N.C. General Statutes.
I am committed to courtesy, impartiality and integrity in our courts. District courts hear a variety of civil cases: divorce, child custody, child support in cases involving less than $25,000; criminal cases involving misdemeanors and infractions; and hearings for probable cause and felony matters.
I believe that as much as the criminal cases require a firm administration of the law, by their very nature, child custody and child support hearings require an understanding and respect for the parties involved in the cases that appear before district court judges. In my experience sitting as the trier of fact in Small Claims Court, and as the official hearing probable cause to issue warrants and to set bonds for release orders, I believe that our judicial officials can be fair, and impartial, and still treat everyone with courtesy and respect.
I know I have accomplished that during my tenure as a sitting magistrate and I believe that I can continue that legacy as a judge for the Second Judicial District. I want to be equally fair and impartial for everyone in our district courts in Beaufort, Hyde, Martin, Tyrrell and Washington counties.