Centre County inmate says he’s qualified to run for judge

Hobson McKown says he is qualified to run for district judge in Ferguson Township.

“I would be a candidate of no affiliation...which I believe is what we want from our judges. I have attended and investigated the (magisterial district judge) certification course in Harrisburg. I have taken a trip to jail to know what 90 days really is to a life,” he said.

In fact, he’s still learning that.

McKown says he “expect(s) to seek nomination” for the position, but wasn’t able to answer questions about that bid. McKown is still listed as an inmate in Centre County Correctional Facility in lieu of $10,000 bail, pending a March 1 trial for misdemeanor counts of defiant trespass and disorderly conduct.

It’s not his first time getting up close and personal with the criminal justice system in Centre County. In 2011, McKown was sentenced to two years probation for a 2008 firearms charge after bringing a loaded gun into the office of Jonathan Grine. Grine is now a Centre County Court of Common Pleas judge.

It’s also not the first time McKown has expressed this desire. In 2013, he ran a write-in campaign for the same seat.

The question at that time was: Can someone with a conviction hold a judicial seat? That question didn’t need to be answered as Leslie Dutchcot won re-election. Dutchcot has since resigned from that post, which is now held by District Judge Ronald Horner.

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce