39 candidates file for 3 vacant Traffic Court seats

Philadelphia Traffic Court at Eighth and Spring Garden Streets was in session Thursday, but some of the judges hearing cases were from out of town. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

Thirty-nine candidates -- 38 Democrats, one Republican and one who filed for both parties -- just made the 5 p.m. deadline Tuesday to file nomination petitions for three vacant seats on Philadelphia Traffic Court.  

It is unclear if those seats will remain on the May 21 primary election ballot or the Nov. 5 general election ballot.  The state Senate in February voted unanimously to eliminate those three seats as part of a larger legislative plan to abolish Traffic Court in Philadelphia.  The state House's Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing in Philadelphia on March 22 to consider that legislation.

The Senate vote last month came two weeks after federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against nine current or former Traffic Court judges.

Candidates had to collect the signatures of at least 1,000 registered voters from Philadelphia to get on the ballot.  The job pays $91,052.  Traffic Court judges do not have to be attorneys.