By: Dennis Whitaker

We posted our Pennsylvania Judicial Election Wrap Up on November 8. As illustrated therein, the numbers with 99 plus percent of precincts reporting clearly showed decisive (though unofficial) results in the elections for Supreme Court and Commonwealth Court. For Superior Court, Judge Maria McLaughlin (D) (14.09%), Judge Deborah A. Kunselman (D) (13.61%), Judge Carolyn H. Nichols (D) (12.78%) and Magisterial District Judge Mary P. Murray (R) (12.01%) were the top vote getters, out pacing Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman (R) (11.95%), Superior Court Judge H. Geoffrey Moulton (D) (11.65%), Judge Emil Giordano (R) (11.58%), Judge Wade Kagarise (10.92%) and attorney Jules Mermelstein (Green) (1.4%). All precincts were required to report results by the close of business November 14, 2017.

With 100 percent of precincts now reporting, four candidates had vote totals within one-half of one percent (0.5%) of each other which triggers an automatic recount unless waived by the runners up. MDJ Murray maintained a slim hold on the final open seat with 915,955 votes (12.01%) followed closely by Mr. Steadman with 911,453 votes (11.95%), a difference of 4,502 votes. Judge Moulton has 888,860 votes (11.66%) (-27,095), and Judge Giordano has 883,218 (11.58%) (-32,737). Judge Kagarise and Mr. Mermelstein were not within the automatic recount margin. The three candidates within the recount margin had until noon today to waive the recount. PAA has learned that all three candidates within the margin have waived the recount. Thus, MDJ Murray will join Judges McLaughlin, Kunselman and Nichols as newly commissioned Superior Court judges in January 2018. The Department of State is expected to announce the results and the waiving of the recount by 5 p.m. today.

About the Author:

Dennis A. Whitaker, partner at Hawke, McKeon & Sniscak, LLP, is an experienced litigator with over 25 years of Commonwealth service.  Focusing on government appellate and original jurisdiction practice in state and federal courts, Dennis offers sound advice, creative solutions, and effective strategies to clients navigating the appeals process.