By SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
ONE FEATHER STAFF
Tribal Prosecutor Roy Wijewickrama was elected a District Judge for North Carolina’s 30th District on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Defeating Stephen Ellis by more than 4,000 votes, he garnered 53.88 percent of the vote according to the N.C. State Board of Elections (SBE).
On his official campaign Facebook site, he commented after his win, “We did it!!! We won all seven counties in our District!!!!! We could not have done it without all of you. Jodi and I are very grateful for all the prayers and support we have received over the past eight months. Thank you all so much!! I will be honored to serve as your next District Court Judge.”
Kristina L. Earwood, who formerly worked in the Office of the Tribal Prosecutor, also won a judgeship in the 30th District. She defeated David Sutton by nearly 2,000 votes and garnered 51.78 percent of the ballots cast.
“First, I would like to thank Roy Wijewickrama for his service to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians,” said Principal Chief Michell Hicks. He has been a committed employee and has greatly progressed the Prosecutor’s Office during his tenure.”
“I would like to congratulate Roy on his successful bid for the 30th District Court Judge seat. I know he will do a tremendous job for the state of North Carolina and for our region. I wish him well in his new capacity.”
EBCI tribal member Bradley Letts will continue as a Superior Court Judge. He ran unopposed in District 30B.
Voter turnout was relatively low in both Swain and Jackson counties. According to the NC SBE, Swain’s turnout was 47.94 percent and Jackson’s was 42.33 percent.
Cherokee Chief Justice Bill Boyum said in a statement, “We are very pleased and excited that three outstanding members of our Bar are joining the local judiciary. While we are sorry to lose Judge Wijewickrama as our Prosecutor, we know that he and his new colleagues will serve everyone in Western North Carolina, including our Tribal members, superbly.”