Douglas McCullough

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J. Douglas McCullough is an American lawyer and former judge of the North Carolina Court of Appeals. McCullough retired in 2017.[1]

Education and career[edit]

After earning a history degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1967 and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of South Carolina in 1970, McCullough served in the United States Marine Corps, retiring as a colonel in the Marine Corps Reserves. McCullough worked as legislative counsel for New Mexico Senator Harrison Schmitt, as a counsel to the United States Senate, and finally as an Assistant United States Attorney in the eastern district of North Carolina from 1981 through 1996, when he left to enter private practice.

In November 2000, McCullough was elected to the North Carolina Court of Appeals with just over 50 percent of the vote, defeating incumbent Clarence Horton.[2]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Lucci McCullough and has two children. He resides in Atlantic Beach, NC.

On October 7, 2006, McCullough was charged with drunk driving. He pleaded guilty to driving while impaired on April 3, 2007.[3]

2008 re-election campaign[edit]

McCullough is a registered Republican, but in his 2008 bid for re-election, he cited bipartisan support from notables such as former NC Supreme Court Chief Justices Burley Mitchell (a Democrat) and I. Beverly Lake Jr. (a Republican).[4] He also enjoyed support from former North Carolina Court of Appeals Judges S. Gerald Arnold, Sidney S. Eagles, K. Edward Greene, and Albert S. Thomas Jr.

McCullough was criticized in 2007 for implying that he and other incumbent Republican incumbents should be re-elected because they would favor Republicans in an anticipated lawsuit over redistricting.[5][6][7] An ethics complaint was filed against him as a result of his comments.[8] In response to the complaint, the state Judicial Standards Commission said it would not punish McCullough, but it also said that it had made "an effort to ensure such conduct is not repeated."[9]

McCullough was defeated in the November 2008 election by state District Court judge Cheri Beasley.[10][11]

2010 election[edit]

McCullough won a new term on the Court of Appeals in 2010, when he came in second in the first round, but won the second round, of the first use of instant runoff voting for a statewide election in North Carolina. He narrowly defeated appointed incumbent judge Cressie Thigpen.[12]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Governor Cooper Appoints Judge John Arrowood to the North Carolina Court of Appeals
  2. ^ "Official Results by County for General Election of the State of North Carolina". Archived from the original on 2007-06-16. Retrieved 2007-09-27.
  3. ^ Judge DWI Plea, April 3, 2007
  4. ^ McCullough kicks off campaign | projects Archived October 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Judges should be independent, not partisan" : Off the Record : Blogs : : Greensboro, North Carolina Archived November 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ YouTube – Broadcast Yourself
  7. ^ Edmunds: Not prejudging cases | projects Archived October 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Ethics complaint filed against McCullough | projects Archived September 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ McCullough won't face punishment | projects Archived September 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ State Board of Elections: 2008 general election results
  11. ^ News & Observer: State Appeals Court races show split[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ News & Observer: Thigpen concedes after still behind in NC recount[permanent dead link]