This judge is a real sport

Whether you know it or not, care or not, plan to vote or not, there's an election next week for one statewide judge -- a judge of Pennsylvania Superior Court.

This is one of those invisible contests funded by the organized bar, law firms and unions. And, really, what better way to pick a judge?

We are among only a handful of states that elect judges at all levels and, because of our size, these low-profile races are usually decided by factors such as geography, ballot position and gender.

This year, candidates for a Superior Court opening are Republican Vic Stabile, a Harrisburg lawyer and former GOP chief in Cumberland County, and Democrat Jack McVay Jr., an Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge.

Stabile's big money, according to the Associated Press, comes from Philly trial lawyers and Gov. Corbett. McVay's big money comes from labor. Nice to see some things never change.

Who wins? Well, there are more Democrats registered to vote in the state than there are Republicans. And Western PA voters tend to vote in higher proportion and with more regional loyalty than Eastern PA voters.

But Republican Stabile has more dough and, as usual, turnout (can't imagine it'll be anything but miniscule) is key.

Still, McVay got my attention with a TV spot that plays to Pittsburgh's love of sports more than playing up actual qualifications to sit on a state court.

It (to me, oddly) states McVay "has done a lot of things in life he really likes." It notes he played college football at Duquesne, works in the press box at Steeler's games and has thrown out a first pitch at a Pirates game. Photographic evidence is included.

It also mentions his work on Family Court but the emphasis (and images) suggest he should be elected because, well, he's a real hometown sports guy. The ad ends with a robbed McVay holding and lightly tossing a baseball as a narrator says, "Elect Judge Jack McVay. Simply superior."

You can see the ad here. And you can decide if it's a hit or an error.

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