Coming up May 21st, the Pennsylvania primary poses challenges for progressives. With three Bucks County Court of Common Pleas judgeships open among a heavily Republican bench in Bucks County, the stakes are high. In Pennsylvania, these judgeships, which pay over $100,000 per annum, are elected and serve for ten years. The Common Pleas, aka Civil Court, attends to family and criminal matters, and thus has a major impact on the welfare of our communities. Many of those on the present bench, however have a strong background in business law, but lack experience in Family Court.
The Civil Court also can serve as a stepping stone or entry level for judges seeking to move up in the system, which makes it all the more important to create opportunities for those whose values you support. In addition, we’re seeing higher court decisions play a greater and greater role in either mitigating or furthering the more extreme tendencies of some politicians.
Right now, Democrats are choosing among six party candidates, including Charissa Liller, Jordan Yaeger, and Jessica VanderKam – who have been endorsed by the local Democratic party – and Dianne McGee, Dawn DiDonato-Burke, and Chris Serpico.
Compounding the dilemma, the total ten candidates in the race are completely scrambled on both the Democratic and Republican ballots. Indeed, all the candidates have cross-filed on each other’s slates, making this tantamount to a “jungle primary” that could easily confuse voters. With typically only a modest voter turnout and little time to go, there is a vital need to quickly educate the electorate, so the folks who do vote can make informed decisions.
The chart shows the candidates running for judge for the Bucks Court of Common Pleas. Make sure you vote!