When Judge James A. Wynn of the NC Court of Appeals got confirmed for the U.S. 4th Circuit, his vacated seat on the NC court (under existing law) set off a kind of land-rush, with NO time for a primary to winnow out the (count 'em) 13 individuals running. Plus this particular election will feature the "instant run-off," with all of us actually voting this fall for our 1st, 2nd, and (if you so desire) 3rd choices for the seat. If no candidate gets a majority of 1st choices, then the two candidates with the most 1st choices go into an instant run-off, and if you didn't chose either of them for your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd choice, you're out of the voting.
But check out the 13 ... which we're just beginning to research. Go here and click on "Download the 2010 Special Edition Judicial Voter Guide" to get the Pdf file.