Race for judges, Pittsburgh Mayor, DA Philly and two seats within the legislature on the poll in Pennsylvania.
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) – Pennsylvania voters selected four lawyers to national appeals courts Tuesday, although the marquee race for a state Supreme Court seat will not change Democrats’ partisan control over the Supreme Court.
The Democrats walked into Election Day with a 5-2 majority on the court, which has played a pivotal role in electoral disputes and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in recent years.
The only vacancy to open this year with the mandatory retirement of Republican Judge Thomas Saylor is being challenged by two lower court judges – Republican Kevin Brobson of the Commonwealth Court and Democrat Maria McLaughlin of the Superior Court.
There are also competitive races for a single seat on Superior Court and two seats on Commonwealth Court.
The State Department reported that it was not aware of any major problems with the vote. In Montgomery County, a suburb of Philadelphia, a mix-up in the delivery of voting machines resulted in an injunction allowing two polling stations in Norristown to stay open one hour past normal closing time.
The polling officer in Butler County, north of Pittsburgh, said that on election day, about three hours before election day, there had been no unusual problems and no long lines.
“There doesn’t seem to be a huge turnout,” said Butler’s election chief Aaron Sheasley. “More on the typical page, but probably a little higher than you would normally see.”
Former Superior Court attorney Megan Sullivan of Chester County and Democratic Common Pleas District Attorney Timika Lane of Philadelphia.
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The Democrats seeking seats in the Commonwealth Court are Philadelphia Common Pleas Justice Lori Dumas and Allegheny County Common Pleas Justice David Spurgeon. The Republicans include Bradford County’s attorney Stacy Wallace and Drew Crompton, who are running for permanent seats in the court he was appointed to earlier last year.
Four national judges are also trying to stay 10 years on the bench via “retention” races up or down: Superior Court Judges John T. Bender and Mary Jane Bowes, and Commonwealth Court Judges Anne E. Covey and Renee Cohn cheers.
The judges who win could rule on a number of high profile cases pending in state courts, from abortion law to holding elections.
The most notable of the state’s mayor’s competitions is in Pittsburgh, where five-year-old State Representative Ed Gainey ousted incumbent Mayor Bill Peduto in the May primary. Gainey is heavily favored in the highly democratic city against the republican retired police officer Tony Moreno. There are also competitive mayor races in Scranton and Harrisburg.
Philadelphia prosecutor Larry Krasner, a Democrat seeking a second term, is running against criminal defense attorney Chuck Peruto, the Republican candidate who has focused on reducing gun violence.
Two special elections will fill open seats in the state parliament on Tuesday. In the Scranton area, voters will decide who to send to the state house to fill a vacancy created when Democrat Marty Flynn won the Pennsylvania Senate election in May.
And in Delaware County, voters will replace former State Representative Margo Davidson, a Democrat who resigned this summer after facing charges of theft, campaign violations, and asking a witness to lie to investigators. A hearing on her criminal case is scheduled for early December and her lawyer declined to comment.
For many voters, the main attraction on Election Tuesday is local races, competitions that include district judges, district attorneys, school boards, district judges, mayors and city councilors.
After a major battleground for Pennsylvania’s voters during last year’s presidential race, they can again be wooed next year when the elections include races for positions vacated by Republican Senator Pat Toomey and Democratic Governor Tom Wolf .