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Nominees set for November in Pennsylvania judge races

Written by The Associated Press | May 17, 2017 4:57 AM
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(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania primary voters picked nominees for four open seats on the state's appellate-level Superior Court in Tuesday's election, while Democrats also settled their nominees in a big field running for two open seats on Commonwealth Court.

The races made up the only statewide contests on the primary ballot.

Democrats picked Philadelphia judges Carolyn Nichols and Maria McLaughlin, Beaver County Judge Deborah Anne Kunselman and Superior Court Judge Geoff Moulton for seats on Superior Court, which takes criminal, civil and family court appeals from counties. Moulton was trying to retain the position to which he was appointed last year after serving as a top lawyer in Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's administration.

Republicans picked Blair County Judge Wade Kagarise, Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman, Northampton County Judge Emil Giordano and Mary Murray, a district judge in Allegheny County.

Each party had five candidates on the ballot.

Meanwhile, Democrats picked Philadelphia Judge Ellen Ceisler and Pittsburgh lawyer Irene McLaughlin Clark for two open seats on Commonwealth Court, an appellate-level court that handles matters in which government agencies are a party. They were selected from a field of six candidates.

Republicans had two people seeking two openings. They are Delaware County Judge Christine Fizzano Cannon and Pittsburgh lawyer Paul Lalley.

For the state Supreme Court, which has a 5-2 Democratic majority, incumbent Justice Sallie Mundy, who was appointed last year, was the lone Republican candidate. She will run in November against Allegheny County Judge Dwayne Woodruff, an ex-Pittsburgh Steeler who was alone on the ballot for Democrats.

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