RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby will keep his seat, allowing Republicans to keep a majority on the state's highest court.

Partial unofficial results show Newby withstood a challenge by Sam Ervin IV and won another eight-year term on the court Tuesday.

Newby is a former federal prosecutor first elected to the Supreme Court in 2004.

Ervin is the grandson of the late U.S. Sen. Sam Ervin and was elected to the Court of Appeals after serving on the state Utilities Commission.

The race is officially nonpartisan but had plenty of political ramifications. Four of the seven current justices are Republican by voter registration. The court is expected to consider legal challenges to redistricting in the near future.

Outside groups raised at least $2 million to back Newby's re-election.

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