During North Carolina’s May 8 primary elections, voters in 12 prosecutorial districts will have a chance to cast a ballot in races for local district attorneys. Check out our questionnaire, made in partnership with the Carolina Justice Policy Center, to learn whether candidates in your area support efforts to reform our broken criminal justice system.

In our criminal justice system, the people with the most power to end mass incarceration are not judges, juries, or police officers, but district attorneys. That’s because district attorneys alone get to decide who is charged with a crime, which punishments to seek, and how harshly to pursue that punishment. They also play a powerful role in how bail is set for people charged with a crime.

These important policy decisions have lasting consequences for people’s lives. In North Carolina, the public has a say in how these decisions are made because every district attorney is an elected official.

In between election years, these officials often operate with near impunity and little oversight. District attorneys have the power to flood jails and prisons, deepen racial disparities in the system, and ruin lives with the stroke of a pen. But they also have the discretion to do the opposite.

District attorneys have the tools to end America’s mass incarceration epidemic. And we, as voters, have the power to decide who will serve in this extremely important role.

Read below to see if there is a district attorney election in your county, and then read the candidates’ responses to our questionnaire where available so that you can cast an informed vote.

Note: The ACLU of North Carolina is a nonpartisan organization that does not support, oppose, or endorse candidates for elected office. This questionnaire is for public education purposes only.

Alamance County

  • Sean Boone: Did not respond to questionnaire 
  • Pat Nadolski: Did not respond to questionnaire 

Bertie, Halifax, Hertford, Northampton Counties

  • Norlan Graves: View responses
  • Valerie Mitchell: Did not respond to questionnaire 

Buncombe County

Burke, Catawba, and Caldwell Counties

  • David Learner: Did not respond to questionnaire 
  •  Scott Reilly: Did not respond to questionnaire 

Caswell and Rockingham Counties

  • Ron Bradsher: Did not respond to questionnaire 
  • Jason Ramey: Did not respond to questionnaire 

Durham County

Guilford County

Henderson, Polk, and Transylvania Counties

  • Mary Ann J. Hollocker: View responses
  • Greg Newman: Did not respond to questionnaire 

McDowell and Rutherford Counties

  • Ted Bell: Did not respond to questionnaire 
  • Garland Franklin Byers, Jr.: Did not respond to questionnaire 

Mecklenburg County

Pitt County

  • Derek K. Brown: Did not respond to questionnaire 
  • Faris Dixon: View responses
  • Glenn Perry: Did not respond to questionnaire 
  • Lee Allen: Did not respond to questionnaire 


  • Joe Osman: Did not respond to questionnaire 
  • Matt Scott: Did not respond to questionnaire