Judges stump in Mercer County for Pa. Supreme Court seats

Judges stump in Mercer County for Pa. Supreme Court seats

FARRELL, Pa. (WYTV) – Three Pennsylvania Supreme Court candidates were in Mercer County Saturday morning drumming up support for an election that will be unlike any the commonwealth has seen in the last 300 years.

The Democratic candidates are:

  • Judge Christine Donohue – Pennsylvania Superior Court
  • Judge David Wecht – Pennsylvania Superior Court
  • Judge Kevin Dougherty – Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas

Each candidate talked with voters in Farrell about what they would bring to Pennsylvania’s highest court.

Donohue said there can’t be a separate justice for the poor and wealthy. Wecht spoke of nepotism in the courts and gift giving.

“The courts are not a jobs program for judges’ relatives, number one. Number two, we need to end gift giving to judges. Judges should not be taking gifts from lawyers and others,” Wecht said.

November’s Supreme Court election will make history in that it is the first time there have been three vacancies on the court since 1704.

“One has to remember that William Penn was governor at that time, and the king and queen of England decided who would sit as a justice,” Dougherty said.

Judicial elections typically have low voter turnout. But all the candidates said having a historic three vacancies should catch voters’ attention.

“This election is going to mold the shape of law in Pennsylvania into the future,” Donohue said.

That’s because Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justices get ten-year terms, and voters almost always retain justices for ten more years with a “yes” vote.

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