Despite currently being the Democratic council leader for the North Carolina Court of Appeals, this selection will be Darren Jackson’s first state-wide race. Jackson, as the incumbent in this race, is a Democrat running for reelection. 

Jackson said while he is running as a Democrat, he is against judge races being partisan. He said he has been campaigning with Democrats, yet he views his job as impartial.

“I get invited to a lot of Democratic Party events and no Republican Party events, so that's disappointing, but there's not a lot of interest,” Jackson said. “It's hard to excite people to judicial races, probably because we can't really comment on a lot of issues.”

Darren Jackson, candidate for North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Seat 11. Courtesy of Darren Jackson.

Before being a judge, Jackson served in the North Carolina House of Appeals, a jump that he said most people don’t make. He said serving as a judge is a different experience since their goals are different, and they are just working to interpret facts.

“Being involved for 12 years in the legislature and the bill writing process and how bills become laws. … I think it is very helpful when you're trying to analyze legislative intent behind a statute and everything,” Jackson said. “It's very helpful, so I think it's a good experience to have had.”

Jackson said throughout his 25 years of practicing law, he has developed a specific set of values and is uniquely qualified. 

“I'll just say I strive for fairness and impartiality. I'd say, my background and my experience, having practiced law for 25 years really is kind of unique,” Jackson said. “I've done small claims court, I've done cases in front of the North Carolina Supreme Court, I've done jury trials, small claims, magistrate, evictions, administrative hearings. … And on the Court of Appeals, you see a lot of areas of law. And so I think that experience has been very helpful in what I do.”