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Candidates file for Pennsylvania Supreme Court opening

The vacancy is arising because Chief Justice Thomas Saylor, a Republican, faces mandatory retirement at year's end.

  • The Associated Press
Many Republicans contend electing appellate judges by districts rather than in statewide partisan contests — as is currently the process — will ensure that the state Supreme Court, Superior Court, and Commonwealth Court reflect the state’s diverse geography.

Kent M. Wilhelm / Spotlight PA

Many Republicans contend electing appellate judges by districts rather than in statewide partisan contests — as is currently the process — will ensure that the state Supreme Court, Superior Court, and Commonwealth Court reflect the state’s diverse geography.

(Harrisburg) — Several candidates made a petition filing deadline Tuesday to appear on the primary ballot for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, where a single vacancy is opening. One is from Dauphin County.

The Department of State website said it had received filings from three Republican candidates, Commonwealth Court judges Kevin Brobson and Patricia McCullough, as well as by Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Paula A. Patrick. Brobson is from Dauphin County and McCullough is from Allegheny County.

The lone Democrat to file for the high court opening is Superior Court Judge Maria McLaughlin of Philadelphia.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Saylor before Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf takes the oath of office for his second term, on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa.

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Saylor before Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf takes the oath of office for his second term, on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa.

The state Supreme Court currently has a 5-2 Democratic majority. The vacancy is arising because Chief Justice Thomas Saylor, a Republican, faces mandatory retirement at year’s end.

Justice Max Baer, a Democrat, will assume the chief justice position next year because he will become the justice with the most time on the court.

Brobson and McLaughlin received their respective parties’ endorsements. The primary is May 18.

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