7 statewide court seats open in upcoming Pa. election

Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court

Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court. (AP, file)

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.

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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.

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