Just days before the North Carolina Supreme Court began a hearing a blockbuster redistricting case, posted fundraising numbers for 2021 revealed clues to how the battle to control the court will shape up in 2022.

The Democrats’ 4-3 Supreme Court majority is on the line as two Supreme Court seats will be on the ballot this fall. Democrat Jimmy Ervin is fighting for his political life running for re-election.

Ervin raised $188,000 in the second half of 2021 and shows $262,000 cash on hand at the end of last year.

One of his potential challengers, Trey Allen shows $163,000 raised in the second half of 2021, with $231,631 cash on hand. Allen is expected to face newly elected Appeals Court Judge April Wood in the GOP primary. Judge Wood raised roughly $94,000 in the second part of 2021 and closed the year with $84,524 cash on hand.

Two NC Appeals Court Judges are expected to meet in the fall to fill the open seat of retiring Democrat Justice Robin Hudson.

Judge Lucy Inman with Judge Chris Dillon and Judge Jeff Carpenter. (From YouTube)

Democrat Lucy Inman leads all Supreme Court candidates with roughly $283,000 raised in the second half of 2021. Judge Inman shows an impressive $384,618 cash in hand, more than any other 2022 Supreme Court candidate.

Her likely opponent, Republican Judge Rich Dietz raised $116,334 and closed out 2021 with $189,281 cash on hand.

While individual fundraising numbers by Supreme Court candidates are important, they are rarely dispositive. Recently, independent expenditures in major court races have dwarfed the spending by the actual candidates. Those independent expenditures along with the overall political environment are more determining factors in who wins Supreme Court seats.

In 2020, President Trump defeated Biden by 1.4% in North Carolina. Republicans swept all three state Supreme Court seats on the ballot by similar margins in-between .01% and 2.4%.