November races for statewide judicial elections set

A voter casts her ballot at Penn Charter's squash courts in East Falls on Tuesday, May 16 2017

HARRISBURG — With the Tuesday primary behind them, Republican and Democratic judicial candidates hoping to serve on Pennsylvania's statewide appeals courts can look ahead to the November election.

In the crowded Democratic primary for Commonwealth Court, it appeared late Tuesday that Ellen Ceisler, a judge on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, and Irene McLaughlin Clark, a former judge on Pittsburgh Municipal Court, would emerge with spots on the ballot in November.

If they secure the Democratic nominations, Ceisler and Clark will face the two Republican candidates, who were unopposed in Tuesday's primary: Christine Fizzano Cannon, a judge on  Delaware County Court, and Paul Lalley, an attorney from Allegheny County.

Commonwealth Court hears some appeals and serves as a trial court for lawsuits brought by or against the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

There were four other Democrats in the primary for Commonwealth Court: State Rep. Bryan Barbin of Cambria County; attorney Timothy Barry of Allegheny County; Joe Cosgrove of Luzerne County, who is serving on the court after being appointed to fill a vacancy in 2016; and attorney Todd Eagen of Lackawanna County.

In the primaries for Superior Court, which hears appeals from the county courts in most criminal and civil cases, five candidates were competing for four spots in both the Republican and Democratic primaries.

For the latest election results in statewide judicial races, click here

On the Democratic side, it appeared late Tuesday that those four nominations would go to Debbie Kunselman, a judge on Beaver County Court; Maria McLaughlin, a judge on Philadelphia Common Pleas Court; Geoffrey Moulton of Montgomery County, who is serving on Superior Court after being appointed in 2016; and Carolyn H. Nichols, a judge on Common Pleas Court.

It appeared that Bill Caye of Allegheny County, a former prosecutor with the Attorney General's Office, did not make the cut.

Among the Republicans, it looked like the four spots on the November ticket would go to Emil Giordano, a judge on Northampton County Court; Wade A. Kagarise, a judge on Blair County County; Mary Murray, a district judge in Allegheny County; and Craig Stedman, district attorney of Lancaster County.

It looked like Paula A. Patrick, a judge on Common Pleas Court, would not secure a nomination.

For the latest election results in city judicial races, click here

The primary races for an opening on the state Supreme Court were uncontested. The lone Republican candidate was Sallie Updyke Mundy, a Tioga County Republican who is serving on the court after being appointed to fill a vacancy in 2016. On the Democratic side was Dwayne Woodruff, a judge on Allegheny County Court and a former Pittsburgh Steelers player.