- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - An attorney who lost his bid last year to head the North Carolina Republican Party despite support from GOP leaders has been appointed to a judgeship in Gaston County.

Gov. Pat McCrory said Tuesday that Craig Collins of Gastonia has been appointed to the District Court bench. He’s filling a vacancy created by the October death of Chief District Court Judge Ralph Gingles Jr.

Collins ran for state Republican Party chairman but lost to Hasan Harnett at last June’s state GOP convention. Collins had endorsements from McCrory, House Speaker Tim Moore, Senate leader Phil Berger and U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis.

Collins has been in private practice since 2007. He was previously a Gaston County assistant district attorney, serving as the lead drug case prosecutor.

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