Sam Ervin, the incumbent in his race, who has been in the legal profession for close to 41 years, is a Democrat serving in North Carolina Supreme Court Seat 05 running for reelection. 

“It's something that I've devoted my life to, in the course of trying to determine the best way that I could provide service to the public, which is of real importance to me,” Ervin said. “It's always seemed as the thing that I did best was to analyze pretty detailed sorts of information to and then try to make sure that once I understood the facts that I was able to objectively apply them all to those facts into something.”

Ervin has said throughout his career as a judge, in both the Court of Appeals and North Carolina Supreme Court, and as a lawyer, his philosophy has stayed generally the same. 

“I don't think it's really changed. The thing that changes is the nature of the case,” Erin said. “As you get to the Supreme Court level, the cases are harder. The purpose of the Supreme Court is to decide the cases that are the hardest cases legally, in the state court system.”

While Ervin said his philosophy throughout his career hasn’t changed, having judge races in North Carolina become partisan has changed the way elections run. Judge races in North Carolina were partisan until 2004, when they became non partisan, until 2018 when the state legislature voted to make this change.

“I've run three times statewide before this year and in each instance, I was running in a nonpartisan election,” Ervin said. “I personally thought that system worked well and was more consistent with what a judge actually does been having partisan elections.”

Ervin said while this may change how elections are, it doesn’t change his philosophy or his own campaign. He said he still will make political decisions that don’t mesh with the rest of his party and hopes that his voting record speaks more for him than his party affiliation.

“The fact that I’m now explicitly labeled the candidate of a political party may affect how some people think, but I hope that enough of the folks that are out there voting will support the approach that I've taken to doing my job and reelect me.” Ervin said. “I would hope registered Democrats would vote for me, I would hope registered Republicans would vote for me, I would hope registered unaffiliated voters would vote for me.”