Name as it appears on the ballot:  Reuben F. Young

Age: 63

Party affiliation: Democrat

Campaign website: 

Occupation & employer: Judge, North Carolina Court of Appeals, Seat 7

1) Please tell us what in your record as a public official or private citizen demonstrates your ability to be effective, fair, and impartial on the bench? Please be specific. What do you believe qualifies you to serve as an appellate court judge?

My parents instilled in me the importance of public service, and I have spent most of my 32-year legal career serving others. I have been both a defense attorney and a prosecutor; Secretary of the state’s largest agency; worked for three North Carolina Governors; served as a Superior Court Judge, and now serve as an Appellate Judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals appointed by Governor Cooper in 2019. 

Trust and experience matter. I firmly believe in and will continue to support equal access to the courts and a fair, impartial and independent judiciary.  I believe my experience, temperament and work ethic make me uniquely qualified to continue serving as a Judge on the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

2) How do you define yourself politically? How does that impact your judicial approach?  

I am a registered Democrat, however, my party affiliation has no impact on my judicial approach. I am a fair, independent and impartial judge. I believe everyone should be treated with equal respect and dignity. 

3) What do you believe are the three most important qualities a judge must have to be an effective jurist?  Which judges, past or present, do you most admire? Why?

The three most important qualities a judge must have are: 

Knowledge of the law



Justice Thurgood Marshall. Beyond his legal ability, Justice Marshall’s life’s work honed his insight into the lives of all Americans that informed his judicial opinions.

4) In a sentence, how would you define your judicial philosophy?  

I believe that every litigant/party should be treated fairly regardless of race, religion, or circumstance.  

5) Do you favor or oppose public financing of judicial elections? What changes to North Carolina’s system of judicial elections do you believe are necessary, if any?

As a sitting judge, I took an oath to uphold the Constitution and the federal and state laws. I am charged with the responsibility of fairly applying and interpreting the law and will continue to do so. The method by which judges are elected is within the purview of the legislature.   

6) In many cases, voters know very little about the judges they are electing. Tell us something about yourself that our readers may be surprised to learn.

As Deputy Legal Counsel to the North Carolina Governor, I assisted in the recovery of North Carolina’s copy of the Bill of Rights that had been lost for over 130 years.

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