Education and career
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.
He is married to Lucci McCullough and has two children. He resides in Atlantic Beach, NC.
2008 re-election campaign
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). 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. An ethics complaint was filed against him as a result of his comments. 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." 
Sea of Greed book
In 2008, McCullough (via author Les Pendleton) penned a self-published novel called "Sea of Greed" which details the events that led up to the U.S. invasion of Panama, McCullough's prosecution of dictator Manuel Noriega, and one of the biggest drug busts in America’s history. The book is now sold online and in local bookstores in the N.C. area.
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.
- Governor Cooper Appoints Judge John Arrowood to the North Carolina Court of Appeals
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-06-16. Retrieved 2007-09-27.
- Judge DWI Plea, April 3, 2007
- McCullough kicks off campaign | newsobserver.com projects Archived October 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Judges should be independent, not partisan" : Off the Record : Blogs : News-Record.com : Greensboro, North Carolina Archived November 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- YouTube - Broadcast Yourself
- Edmunds: Not prejudging cases | newsobserver.com projects Archived October 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- Ethics complaint filed against McCullough | newsobserver.com projects Archived September 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- McCullough won't face punishment | newsobserver.com projects Archived September 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- State Board of Elections: 2008 general election results
- News & Observer: State Appeals Court races show split[permanent dead link]
- News & Observer: Thigpen concedes after still behind in NC recount[permanent dead link]