Name as it appears on the ballot: Rebecca “Becky” Holt
Campaign Website: beckyholtforjudge.org
Phone Number: 919-438-1867
Occupation and Employer: Assistant District Attorney – Wake District Attorney
Party Affiliation: Unaffiliated
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? These might include career or community service—please be specific.
During the 27 years that I have served as a Wake County Assistant District Attorney, I have earned a reputation for being a fair and effective prosecutor. In addition to the ethical duties imposed on all attorneys, a prosecutor has the additional obligation to be a “minister of justice’. This sometimes means refusing to authorize charges, dismissing a case or offering a plea to a lesser offense. Other times it means standing firm on a case as charged or taking a case to trial. I understand the importance of making a decision only after having a thorough knowledge of the facts and the applicable law. My experience and determined work ethic will be focused on ensuring that justice is served in a transparent and impartial manner.
2. How do you define yourself politically, and how will your political and legal philosophies affect your performance on the bench?
I am registered Unaffiliated. As such, I have no allegiances to any political party. I am not running for judge to advance a political agenda, nor to legislate from the bench, but rather to serve the public and our judicial system. Politics will play no role in my decisions as a judge. I will base my decisions on the facts, the laws of North Carolina and the Constitution of the United States.
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 that a judge must have to be an effective jurist are fairness, knowledge of the law and a judicial temperament. A judge should afford respect to those who appear before him/her and make decisions only after listening to both sides and thoughtfully applying the applicable law. I have great admiration for many of the judges that I have appeared before in the course of my career. Two Superior Court Judges that stand out for me are Judge Paul Ridgeway and Judge Osmond Smith. Each of these jurists are extremely well-versed in the law, courteous to those who appear before them and fair in their decision-making. I also admire retired Chief Justice Sarah Parker of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Her work ethic is legendary as is her service to the state and the legal community.
4. The INDY’s mission is to help build a more just community in the Triangle. How would your election help further that goal?
A more just community exists when there are people of experience and integrity serving in our court system. I have the most Superior Court experience of any candidate running. My reputation is of someone who is hard-working, prepared and fair. Currently, there are no women serving on the Wake County Superior Court bench. I would like to change this because I believe that a more diverse judiciary is important in instilling public confidence in our court system.
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?
I favor public funding of judicial elections. Public funding helps level the playing field for candidates and eliminates the need for them to solicit money from those who will be appearing before them in the courtroom should they be elected. Private money should not drive judicial elections. It undermines the public’s confidence in a fair and independent judiciary. I also believe that we should continue to elect judges rather than go to a system where they are appointed. To do otherwise would compromise judicial independence.
6. Given the proliferation of technology, do you perceive a conflict government surveillance and the need for individual privacy? If elected, how would you weigh those competing interests in cases that came before you?
There has always been tension between privacy rights and public safety. As a prosecutor, I am constantly called upon to weigh competing interests and to make the best decision I can based on the facts and the law. If elected to the bench, I would make sure that I had a thorough understanding of the facts in issue and the law prior to making any ruling. It is not the role of a judge to legislate from the bench but rather to apply the law as written.
7. 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.
I’ve successfully prosecuted some of the most high profile murder cases in Wake County. Several of these cases have been featured on television shows in the United States, Australia and Japan.