Philadelphia Bar Association, city Democrats disagree on which judicial candidates to vote for

    Yes. On May 19, Philadelphians will head to the polls to pick the city’s next mayor and who will sit on City Council. But like voters all over Pennsylvania, they’ll also choose from a list of candidates running for judge — a long list.

    With so many names to choose from, political parties and the Philadelphia Bar Association typically compile lists of who they think is best for the job. Sometimes, though, they’re not on the same page.

    This election cycle, for instance, city Democrats have endorsed three candidates who got the “not recommended” stamp from the non-partisan association.

    There could be more. The bar association is still conducting interviews with candidates.

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    For now, they are:

    Municipal Court candidate Sharon Williams Losier
    Common Pleas Court candidate Scott DiClaudio
    Common Pleas Court candidate Tracy Brandeis Roma.

    It’s not a particularly surprising scenario for attorney A. Harold Datz, who chairs the bar committee who makes the association’s picks.

    “We would like it if the political parties followed our recommendations, but as our chancellor is so fond of saying, they have our process, we have ours,” said Datz.

    Ditto for Congressman Bob Brady, who leads the city’s Democratic City Committee. In fact, he even had a similar response when asked about his party’s endorsements.

    “They evaluate who they evaluate the way they evaluate them, and we evaluate them the way we evaluate them,” said Brady.

    And he makes no apologies for endorsing people the bar association rejects. The party strives to match the bar association’s list but is not beholden to it, he said.

    “We talk to members of the bench. We talk to the district attorney. We talk to people who know their character to find out what they also do in their community,” said Brady.

    Parties and bar associations in suburban counties are still preparing their recommendations.

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