7 Statewide Court Seats Open In Upcoming Election

Nov 1, 2017

Tuesday’s election may be in an off-year, but that doesn’t mean it won’t have statewide implications.

The highest-profile race is for a seat on the state Supreme Court, and seats are also open on the Superior and Commonwealth courts.

Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court leans heavily Democratic right now, with a 5 to 2 majority.

The Republican candidate, Sallie Mundy, currently holds one of those seats and is seeking a full 10-year term. She was appointed as an interim justice by Governor Tom Wolf last year.

Her opponent is Democrat Dwayne Woodruff—a Pittsburgh family court judge and former NFL player with the Steelers.

The two have struck similar tones on transparency in their campaigns—both advocating to make justices and their decision process more visible and accessible.

Woodruff has also pushed for a ban on judges accepting gifts, while Mundy favors limits, but not a total ban.

On the state Superior Court, four seats are open with nine contenders: Democrats Geoff Moulton (an incumbent), Carolyn Nichols, Maria McLaughlin, and Deborah Kunselman; Republicans Craig Stedman, Wade Kagarise, Emil Giordano, and Mary Murray; and Green Party candidate Jules Mermelstein.

The Commonwealth Court race is for two seats, and has four candidates: Republicans Christine Fizzano Cannon and Paul Lalley, and Democrats Ellen Ceisler and Irene Clark.