CDT Voters Guide — 2017 primary election

Election Day is May 16.
Election Day is May 16. Centre Daily Times, file

Polls open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

This Voters Guide may be taken into the voting booth.


Contact your county Board of Elections. The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania also provides election information. Call 717-234-1576.


The material in this guide was compiled by the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania-Citizen Education Fund. This material may not be altered or reprinted without the permission of the league. Each candidate’s reply has been printed as submitted, except to use standard abbreviations and by editing from the bottom when a candidate’s reply exceeded the word limit. The candidates listed are those whose names appear on the ballot as of April 14. They are listed according to their ballot order. Additional information about judicial candidates and voter information including “Polling Place Lookup” can be found by going to www.vote411.org and typing in your address and zip code.


The purpose of the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania-Citizen Education Fund is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government. The league is nonpartisan: it neither supports nor opposes any political parties or candidates. Nothing in this guide should be construed as an endorsement of any candidate by the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania-Citizen Education Fund.


Registered voters who are ill, disabled or will be absent from the municipality on Election Day may vote by absentee ballot. Completed applications for civilian absentee ballots must be received by the county Board of Elections by 5 p.m. Tuesday. Completed civilian absentee ballots must be received back at the Board of Elections by 5 p.m. Friday. If an emergency arises (unexpected illness or business trip) after the Tuesday application deadline, call your county Board of Elections for information on emergency absentee voting. Proof of emergency may be required. An emergency application and ballot can be obtained and voted by 5 p.m. Friday. Any disabled voter having questions regarding the accessibility of a polling place should consult the county Board of Elections.


Information for write-in voting will be available at the polling place.


If your right to vote is challenged at the polls on Election Day and the problem cannot be resolved at the polling place, the judge of elections at the polling place should telephone the county Board of Elections. The problem could be resolved by phone if your name appears on the county records. If it does not and you want to try to resolve the problem, then you can go in person to the county Board of Elections where a judge from the Court of Common Pleas will be on duty to resolve election problems. Alternatively, you can ask for and vote by provisional ballot. If it is later determined that you were eligible to vote your ballot will be counted. You will be given instructions on how to determine if your vote was counted. 


If you are a new voter or if you are voting at a polling place for the first time, then you must bring your voter ID card or a photo ID such as a driver’s license, student ID or some other form of federal or state government issued ID. Some forms of non-photo ID are also acceptable such as a firearm permit, current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government check. If you do not have any acceptable ID, then you must be allowed to vote by provisional ballot. 


The Voters Guide and other useful information for voters can be found on the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania homepage: www.palwv.org.

Judicial elections

Judicial elections occur in odd-numbered years. Justices and judges may serve an unlimited number of terms until they reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 and are retained or re-elected by the voters. Vacancies that exist before an election may be filed by gubernatorial appointment until an election is held. These selections are subject to Senate confirmation.

10-year term

  • Appellate court jurists
  • Courts of Common Pleas judges

6-year term

  • Magisterial district judges
  • Philadelphia Municipal Courts judges

Judge of the Supreme Court

Job description: The Supreme Court is the highest court in the commonwealth and the oldest appellate court in the nation. The Supreme Court’s administrative powers and jurisdictional responsibilities are vested with the seven-member court by the Pennsylvania State Constitution and a collection of statutes known as the Judicial Code. Administratively, the courts within the Unified Judicial System are largely responsible for organizing their own staff and dockets; however, the Supreme Court has several committees and boards responsible for writing and enforcing rules for judges, attorneys and litigants to ensure an efficient and fair judicial review. Annually, the seven justices receive more than 3,000 requests for appellate review.

Term: 10 years

Salary: $206,054

Vote for not more than 1


Dwayne Woodruff, McCandless — Allegheny

Candidate did not respond.


Sally Mundy, Tioga — Tioga

Candidate did not respond.

Judge of the Superior Court

Job description: The Superior Court is one of Pennsylvania’s two statewide intermediate appellate courts. This court, which was established in 1895, reviews most of the civil and criminal cases that are appealed from the Courts of Common Pleas in the commonwealth’s 67 counties. The Superior Court consists of 15 judges who serve 10-year terms. The president judge of Superior Court is elected to a five-year term by his or her colleagues. A huge volume of appeals flow to Superior Court from the trial courts. Generally, appeals are heard by panels of three judges sitting in Philadelphia, Harrisburg or Pittsburgh. The court often is the final arbiter of legal disputes. Although the Supreme Court may grant a petition for review of a Superior Court decision, most such petitions are denied and the ruling of the Superior Court stands.

Term: 10 years

Salary: $191,422

Vote for 4


Carolyn Nichols, Philadelphia — Philadelphia

Candidate did not respond.

Geoff Moulton, Upper Dublin — Montgomery

Campaign email: Geoff@judgemoulton.com

Campaign phone: 215-817-3312

Campaign Facebook: Facebook.com/judgemoulton

Campaign Twitter: @JudgeMoulton

Occupation: Judge, Superior Court of Pennsylvania

Education: B.A. Amherst College; J.D. Columbia University School of Law

Qualifications: The Judicial Evaluation Commission of the Pennsylvania Bar Association concluded: “This commission believes that the candidate possesses the highest combination of legal ability, experience, integrity and temperament and, therefore, highly recommends his candidacy for the Pennsylvania Superior Court.”

Q: What is the most important quality in a judge?

A: Beyond the baseline requirements of professional competence, integrity and appropriate judicial temperament, the most important qualification is a commitment to ensuring that every participant in the judicial system is treated fairly and with dignity and respect.

Q: Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case?

A: Judges should recuse themselves when their impartiality might reasonably be questioned. In the context of the current judicial campaign, I have recused myself in situations where lawyers providing significant support to my campaign, or members of their firms, represent clients in our court.

Q: As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?

A: I believe deeply in our civil justice system, but it is far from perfect, in large part because too many litigants do not have the resources to afford legal representation in important classes of cases where such representation is not provided by the state. As a result, I have supported and will continue to support efforts to find ways to bridge that gap, including the “Civil Gideon” movement.

Maria McLaughlin, Philadelphia —Philadelphia

Campaign email: info@mclaughlin4superiorcourt.com

Campaign phone: 215-605-3114

Campaign Facebook: JudgeMclaughlin4SuperiorCourt

Campaign Twitter: honmmclaughlin

Occupation: Judge Court of Common Pleas

Education: J.D.

Qualifications: As a judge in the largest judicial district in our commonwealth, I’ve had the opportunity to issue thousands of rulings. I have been appealed only five times and have never had a decision overturned. I believe this uniquely qualifies me for the Superior Court.

Q: What is the most important quality in a judge?

A: It is most important for a jurist to be objective because parties must have confidence that their case will be heard fairly and impartially.

Q: Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case?

A: I have recused myself in a criminal matter after hearing argument on a bail reduction motion. It would be inappropriate for me to hear the underlying case because information was revealed during this motion that would be prejudicial to the defendant in his underlying case.

Q: As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?

A: As a sitting judge I always ensure that all parties are treated fairly and equally regardless of the issue before the court. I also believe it is my duty as a judge to educate the public and is the reason I take part in many community based organizations. I believe I should be a good example both on and off the bench.

Debbie Kunselman, Center Township — Beaver

Campaign email: judgedebbieforsuperiorcourt@gmail.com

Campaign phone: 215-605-3114

Campaign Facebook: Deborah Kunselman

Campaign Twitter: @JudgeKunselman

Occupation: Judge

Education: J.D., University of Notre Dame Law School, cum laude; B.A., Penn State University, with Honors and with High Distinction

Qualifications: 12 years experience as a trial court judge in Beaver County: presided over family, juvenile and civil matters; 13 years experience as an attorney: represented clients in personal injury, family and employment cases; eight years as chief county solicitor for Beaver County; “highly recommended” by the Bar.

Q: What is the most important quality in a judge?

A: Integrity. If you cannot trust a judge to do the right thing, and follow the law, then who can you trust?

Q: Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case?

A: I have and would recuse in cases involving family members, close friends or former clients. I have also recused in matters involving my campaign officers. I would also recuse in other cases as required by the PA Code of Judicial Conduct, Rule 2.11.

Q: As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?

A: As a judge, on the bench, I can treat self-represented litigants with respect, so they are not intimidated by the legal system. Off the bench, I can speak at seminars and to the general public about the need for all people to have access to a lawyer to protect their legal rights. I can also advocate for state funding for our public defenders. (Pennsylvania is one of only two states that does not provide any state funding to the public defenders’ office.)

William Caye, South Fayette — Allegheny

Campaign email: info@williamcaye.com

Campaign Facebook: @billcaye4pasuperiorcourtjudge (Bill Caye 4 PA Superior Court Judge)

Campaign Twitter: @billyadam0905

Occupation: Statewide Criminal and Juvenile Defense Trial Attorney

Education: Duquesne University School of Law J.D., front line editor Juris; Duquesne University Liberal Arts B.A., Magna cum laude

Qualifications: I am an accomplished trial attorney with 24 years of extensive private and public sector litigation, jury/nonjury trials and motions practice experience, having presented and/or defended thousands of disputes in magistrate courts and in nearly each division of the Common Pleas Court system. I was a former assistant DA in Allegheny County and a senior deputy attorney general criminal prosecutor with numerous winning verdicts in major felony actions in elder, sex, child and domestic abuse matters across our state. I also previously performed judicial law clerk duties such as: responsive legal research, writing and advising judges in federal, state and county posts with exceptional contributions to published opinions and orders and unpublished memoranda.

Q: What is the most important quality in a judge?

A: Integrity is the most important quality in a jurist because the litigants and parties deserve an impartial adjudication of their claims or defenses.

Q: Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case?

A: Recusal is required when the impartiality of the fact finder may be reasonably called into question due to a conflict of interest, bias or any other factor that may create the appearance of impropriety or cast doubt on the integrity of the jurist.

Q: As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?

A: The rules of judicial conduct permit judges to engage in educational programs, engage in proactive community activities to enhance the perception of the bench and promote equal justice. On the bench, in chambers and professional settings, judges must be respectful, courteous, kind and sensitive to the individuals that have business before the courts. Judges must be diligent public stewards of the authority vested in them by the people.


Emil Giordano, Hanover Township — Northampton

Campaign email: giordanoforjudge@gmail.com

Campaign phone: 717-234-5424

Campaign Facebook: @judgegiordano

Occupation: Judge of the Court of Common Pleas

Education: J.D. Villanova Law School, B.A. Moravian College

Qualifications: I have received a “highly recommended” rating from the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Q: What is the most important quality in a judge?

A: Experience. The Pennsylvania Bar Association cited my “broad experience as a practicing attorney, proven record of judicial leadership, high ethical standards and dedication to the legal profession” as they awarded me a “highly recommended” rating. I believe those are important qualities that will serve me well on the Superior Court.

Q: Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case?

A: I believe I have a proven record of conducting myself in a highly ethical manner as it relates to this issue.

Q: As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?

A: The biggest issue that needs to be addressed in the courts is the crisis of public confidence our judiciary faces. Through scandal and ethics lapses, the courts are viewed negatively by too many people. That image will only be changed by electing qualified, ethical judges who will comport themselves in an appropriate manner when in office.

Craig Stedman, Manheim Township — Lancaster

Campaign email: craigstedman17@gmail.com

Campaign phone: 717-234-5424

Campaign Facebook: @stedmanforjudge

Occupation: Lancaster district attorney

Education: B.A. history — University of Delaware; J.D. Penn State Dickinson School of Law

Qualifications: The Pennsylvania Bar Association awarded me a “highly recommended” rating.

Q: What is the most important quality in a judge?

A: Experience. Criminal cases make up the great majority of the cases that are pending before the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. I will bring extensive criminal law knowledge and experience to the bench and thus the majority of cases. This is particularly important because there is very little combined prosecutorial experience in the Superior Court and not one who ever served as an elected district attorney.

Q: Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case?

Q: As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?

A: I want to become a part of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania to serve the citizens of this state and apply the law fairly and with equal justice for everyone. The concepts of fairness and equal justice are not just words to me and I am committed to interpreting the law with integrity, honor and common sense. I am committed to making this state a better place for everyone by serving with character, respect, intelligence, and wisdom.

Wade A. Kagarise, Borough of Hollidaysburg — Blair

Campaign email: info@judgekagarise.com

Campaign phone: 717-234-5424

Campaign Facebook: Kagarise for Superior Court

Occupation: Court of Common Pleas Judge and Adjunct Professor

Education: B.A. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, J.D. Widener University School of Law

Qualifications: Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, 15 years experience as a criminal prosecutor (the last eight as chief deputy) handling all types of criminal cases including murder cases, 12 years experience handling civil, family and labor law. Adjunct professor, infantry veteran of U.S. Army Reserves.

Q: What is the most important quality in a judge?

A: I believe experience and temperament are equally important. Judges should have broad based legal experience and should treat those who appear before them with fairness and dignity.

Q: Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case?

A: Consistent with the Judicial Cannons, any judge should recuse themselves with they are unable to decide a matter fairly and impartially or where their fairness or impartiality could reasonably be called into question.

Q: As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?

A: By working to improve the justice system for all Pennsylvanians. I have and will continue to work toward this goal. My experience on appointed committees has provided a venue to work on improvements. I also believe my experience as an adjunct professor has provided me the opportunity to have an impact on future generations of legal professionals.

Mary Murray, Moon Township — Allegheny

Campaign email: judgemarymurraycommittee@gmail.com

Campaign phone: 412-264-0440

Campaign Facebook: Judge Mary P. Murray Committee for PA Superior Court

Occupation: Magisterial district judge and attorney

Education: Duquesne University, B.S./B.A. 1992, MBA 1995, J.D. 1996

Qualifications: As magisterial district judge for more than 13 years and as an attorney for more than 20, I have heard cases and practiced law in the areas that come before the Superior Court. In my tenure as a magisterial district judge, I have handled more than 70,000 cases, which makes me aware of the concerns of Pa. citizens.

Q: What is the most important quality in a judge?

A: The most important quality in a jurist is to listen to the evidence presented at a hearing and to apply the law in a fair and impartial manner. As a jurist giving every citizen their day in court and being fair and impartial is the only way democracy can continue to flourish in our county.

Q: Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case?

A: I have recused myself from cases where police officers who appear regularly in front of me were either victims or defendants. I have also asked for a change in venue on cases where someone has run against me in a recent campaign or if someone called me at my home and tried to influence my decision on a case.

Q: As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?

A: On the bench, I make sure that my staff provides litigates information on their rights to appeal and phone numbers for legal representation through Neighborhood Legal Services or Lawyer Referral Services or the Public Defender’s Office. Additionally, we try to provide interpreters when requested by the litigants. Off the bench, every citizen should lobby for adequate funding for the Courts and Legal Service organizations.

Paula A. Patrick, Philadelphia — Philadelphia

Campaign email: info@ElectJudgePatrick.com

Campaign phone: 412-527-2759

Campaign Facebook: facebook.com/electJudgePatrick/

Campaign Twitter: @judgepatrickPA

Occupation: Judge of Court of Common Pleas

Education: Bennett College; Texas Southern University-Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Qualifications: Common Pleas Court Judge since 2003; written more than 400 opinions to the three state appellate courts; trial lawyer for almost 10 years; former adjunct professor at LaSalle University; former City Commissioner, appointed

Q: What is the most important quality in a judge?

A: I think that courage is the most important quality in a jurist. A judge should not be afraid to make the difficult and hard decisions. A judge should also be able to rise above the pull of politics and public opinion.

Q: Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case?

A: A judge is required to perform her judicial duties impartially, competently and diligently and should disqualify herself when she cannot perform her duties in an impartial way. A judge should recuse if there is a conflict of interest, personal bias, prejudice or if the judge has an economic interest in the case.

I have recused myself from a case when I was that person’s prior judge on a different matter and when necessary in motion to suppress matters.

Q: As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?

A: I attempt to educate when possible about the justice system. I speak at forums, schools, community groups, churches, etc. to help give the public information that they may better be able to access justice.

Judge of the Commonwealth Court

Job description: The Commonwealth Court is one of Pennsylvania’s two statewide intermediate appellate courts. This court, which was established in 1968, is unlike any other state court in the nation. Its jurisdiction generally is limited to legal matters involving state and local government and regulatory agencies. Litigation typically focuses on such subjects as banking, insurance and utility regulation and laws affecting taxation, land use, elections, labor practices and workers compensation. Commonwealth Court also acts as a court of original jurisdiction, or a trial court, when lawsuits are filed by or against the commonwealth. The Commonwealth Court is made up of nine judges who serve 10-year terms. The president judge is chosen by his or her colleagues for a five-year term. The court generally decides cases in three-judge panels and sits in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.

Term: 10 years

Salary: $191,422

Vote for 2


Timothy Barry, Dormont Borough — Allegheny

Campaign email: timothybarry4judge@gmail.com

Campaign phone: 412-606-8060

Campaign Facebook: facebook.com/timothybarry4judge

Campaign Twitter: @timothybarry4judge

Occupation: Attorney

Education: J.D. 1979 University of Pittsburgh School of Law, B.A. 1975 University of Pittsburgh

Qualifications: I have practiced municipal and public sector labor law for 37 years. I have been honored to serve as solicitor for numerous municipalities and to advise many communities on labor relations. I also serve as a labor arbitrator. This experience makes me uniquely qualified for the Commonwealth Court.

Q: What is the most important quality in a judge?

A: “(Timothy Barry) is highly regarded and has a long history of pro bono and community service. He has demonstrated a strong work ethic, professionalism and fairness in his interactions with clients and colleagues. The candidate is known for his integrity, knowledge of law and competence.”

I believe that this quote from the Pa. Bar Association’s Judicial Evaluation Commission, regarding their opinion of my professional and personal qualities, best describes the ultimate qualities in a jurist.

Q: Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case?

A: I believe that even the slightest indication of impropriety or conflict is a reason to recuse. I have avoided conflicts throughout my career simply because, if there is any doubt, I recuse myself. In my 37 years of legal practice, I have always maintained the highest level of professionalism.

Q: As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?

A: In 2015, I successfully represented a waitress in a Title VII, sexual harassment federal court jury trial. Due to a non disclosure agreement, I cannot divulge further details, but this case was about respect for women and women’s rights. I am committed to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have equal access to a fair judicial system.

Joe Cosgrove, Wilkes Barre — Luzerne

Campaign email: info@cosgroveforpa.com

Campaign phone: 570-213-7515

Campaign Facebook: www.facebook.com/cosgroveforpa/?fref=ts

Occupation: Judge of the Commonwealth Court

Education: Marywood College, M.A. Studio Arts; Notre Dame School of Law, J.D.; Notre Dame — B.A. Government and Int’l Studies; M.A. Theology

Qualifications: As a sitting judge on the Commonwealth Court, I am uniquely qualified to continue serving the people of Pennsylvania. I formerly served as a Judge on the Court of Common Pleas, and am the only Democratic candidate on the ballot to be “highly recommended” by the Pa. Bar Association.

Q: What is the most important quality in a judge?

A: Dedication to fairness and equality. As a judge on the Commonwealth Court and as a former judge on the Court of Common Pleas, I have a proven track record of working to ensure fairness, equality and equal access to the law for all Pennsylvanians.

I was taught that everyone matters, that no one is more valuable than anyone else and that justice and the law are the instruments by which we bring about that equality. Those are the principles that guide me as a judge on the Commonwealth Court.

Q: Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case?

A: The cornerstone of every recusal question is (1) whether the judge knows of reasons or circumstances by which he or she would not be able to be fair and impartial, and (2) even if the judge would be fair and impartial, would a reasonable person question that impartiality. As a judge, I wrote an opinion in a case where I recused myself sua sponte. This opinion was published in the Luzerne Legal Register. My recusal decisions are rooted in these principles.

Q: As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?

A: I have worked to make sure that our courts address the real problems faced by real people. I am especially proud of my work to create problem-solving courts, like Veterans Court, and the Luzerne County Mortgage Mediation Court, which kept families in their homes during the mortgage crisis.

The power of the law to effect people’s lives is immense. On the Commonwealth Court, we understand that our decisions will affect the lives of all Pennsylvanians, possibly for generations to come.

Ellen Ceisler, Philadelphia— Philadelphia

Campaign email: info@ceislerforpa.com

Campaign phone: 215-735-6760

Campaign Facebook: www.facebook.com/JudgeEllenCeisler/

Campaign Twitter: @ceislerforpa

Occupation: Judge — Court of Common Pleas

Education: Temple University; Temple University School of Law

Qualifications: I have served in the Criminal Trial Division for the first six years, presiding over jury and non-jury trials involving major felonies. In 2013, I was assigned to the Civil Trial Division, Civil Motions Court, regarded as one of the busiest and most diverse Common Pleas Courts in Pa.

Q: What is the most important quality in a judge?

A: I believe that a jurist must be fair, impartial and free from bias. We must allow the facts of each individual case guild our decisions. It’s also critical that jurists be ethical and transparent in all of our decisions.

Q: Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case?

A: There have been times that I have recused myself from a case.

Q: As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?

A: We must also provide open access to the courts, meaning that it is should not be difficult or burdensome for the public to interact with us. It’s also vital that our opinions and actions be perceived as fair and independent, since that is the largest issue that the public has with trusting the judiciary. Finally, the public must hold us accountable if we are not performing up to these standards.

Todd Eagen, Dunmore — Lackawanna

Campaign email: Zach@toddeagen.com

Campaign phone: 412-855-8782

Campaign Facebook: www.facebook.com/ToddEagenCommonwealthCourtJudge/

Campaign Twitter: @ToddEagen

Occupation: Labor attorney

Education: B.A., political science, Point Park University; J.D., Dickinson School of Law

Qualifications: For more than 20 years, I have worked as a labor attorney specializing in contract negotiations and arbitrations, workplace discrimination and general counsel to a multitude of labor unions across many different sectors. I have tried hundreds of cases in front of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.

Q: What is the most important quality in a judge?

A: Impartiality. I firmly believe that our judges must be impartial in every case, regardless of who someone is or where they come from. As a judge, I will always remain impartial and fair.

Q: Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case?

A: While I would have to make the determination on a case by case basis, I would seriously consider recusing myself in instances where I have either represented the litigants in front of me in the past, or feel as though there is an appearance of a conflict of interest.

Q: As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?

A: As a judge on Commonwealth Court, I would work with my fellow judges to provide better access to services for pro se litigants. More and more courts are providing these services which allow individuals to represent themselves in situations where they do not need the assistance of an attorney. The Commonwealth Court should follow the direction of the lower courts in instituting these programs.

Irene M. Clark, Pittsburgh — Allegheny

Campaign email: ireneforjudge@gmail.com

Campaign phone: 412-848-3731

Campaign Facebook: Irene M. Clark for Judge

Occupation: Attorney at law, mediator

Education: 1982-Wharton School; University of Pennsylvania-B.S.; 1988-CUNY Law School, J.D.; 1999-McGregor School of Antioch University, M.A./conflict resolution

Qualifications: Judge-Pittsburgh Municipal Court-1993-2003; Public interest attorney-preventing and addressing blighted and abandoned real estate, training and educating on laws we have, drafting of and advocating for laws we need, implementing new laws, representing inaugural Pa. land banks-2003-present.

Q: What is the most important quality in a judge?

A: The capacity to be reflective is the most important quality in a jurist. It describes being thoughtful and contemplative. The teaching mantra of my public interest law school was “plan, do, reflect.” It instilled regular historical review of my place in and contributions to social justice as a lawyer and former judge. Just as the moon reflects only the light of the sun, a good jurist’s character, conduct and standards reflect only the highest values and aspirations of our system of democracy.

Q: Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case?

A: I did not recuse myself from any case during 10 years of judicial service on the Pittsburgh Municipal Court. Although I cannot anticipate circumstances under which I would recuse, I will always adhere to judicial conduct rules. I will continuously reflect on my impartiality from an objective point of view, readily disclose relevant information and be guided by Formal Advisory Opinion 2015-4 of the Judicial Ethics Committee of the Pa. Conference of State Trial Judges.

Q: As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?

A: My record demonstrates commitment to social justice as a public interest attorney and to quality court administration as a former judge. As an appellate judge, I will do my part to eliminate the “justice gap.” On the bench, I will review trial judges’ use of existing authority to appoint counsel for litigants. Off the bench, I will join and advance the state and national Civil Gideon movement and persevere for systems’ change needed for Pa. to achieve a record of excellence on access to justice.

Bryan Barbin, Westmont — Cambria

Campaign email: mkleinstub@atlanticbb.net

Campaign phone: 535-5561

Occupation: Legislator/attorney

Education: B.A. economics J.D. University of Pittsburgh Law School 1982

Qualifications: Judicial Clerk Pa. Supreme Court Deputy Attorney General State Representative

Q: What is the most important quality in a judge?

A: Fairness, impartiality and respect for the rule of law.

Q: Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case?

A: Appearance of partiality.

Q: As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?

A: Support pro bono programs.


Paul Lalley, Upper St. Clair Township — Allegheny

Campaign email: lalley4judge@gmail.com

Campaign phone: 412-395-1273

Campaign Facebook: lalley4judge

Occupation: Attorney

Education: Dickinson School of Law — J.D. 1996; University of Pennsylvania — B.A. 1993

Qualifications: Highly recommended by the Allegheny County Bar Association for Commonwealth Court and twice recommended by the Pennsylvania Bar Association for the Commonwealth Court. Former Pennsylvania Supreme Court law clerk and a successful appellate litigator.

Q: What is the most important quality in a judge?

A: Fairness to the parties is the most important quality in a judge. It means treating parties with courtesy, respect, patience and an open-minded willingness to listen to their positions and allow them to have their say.

Q: Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case?

A: I would recuse myself from any case where the Code of Judicial Conduct requires my recusal, or in any case where, after serious reflection, I would find that I could not give impartial consideration to a party’s cause for whatever reason.

Q: As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?

A: Supporting the efforts of the ACBA and the PBA to ensure the provision of effective legal services to all members of our society, regardless of their means, is what I would continue to do if I am elected to the Commonwealth Court.

Christine Fizzano Cannon, Middletown Township — Delaware

Campaign email: christinefizzanocannon@gmail.com

Campaign phone: 215-990-8928

Campaign Facebook: www.facebook.com/judgefizzanocannon

Occupation: Judge, Court of Common Pleas

Education: Widener U. School of Law, J.D. cum laude 1994; University of Arizona, B.A. 1991

Qualifications: I was rated “highly recommended” by the Pa. Bar Judicial Evaluation Comm. for a seat on the Commonwealth Court. 22 years as a judge, attorney, public official, community leader, and special prosecutor have uniquely prepared me for this position.

Q: What is the most important quality in a judge?

A: I believe intellect, integrity, humility and temperament are important qualities for effective judges. As head of the court’s Civil Trial Section, I listen and consider all sides of each matter before me with impartiality. A courtroom experience is often a rare and difficult experience for litigants. With this in mind, I apply a high level of courtesy and patience in the courtroom, which I believe can positively affect the level of trust and comfort that a litigant has in our justice system.

Q: Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case?

A: It is important not only that a judge approach each case with an open mind and complete impartiality, but also that a judge avoid even the appearance of impropriety or partiality, which could undermine the public’s confidence in the judiciary. I abide by the rules of judicial conduct which note that a “judge shall disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

Q: As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice?

A: While I cannot advocate for or against specific legislation on the state level, I believe that everyone should have access to the justice system. I worked as a special prosecutor of child support enforcement and represented individuals who could not afford an attorney to see that delinquent child support obligors were brought into compliance. As a judge, I treat everyone I encounter fairly, impartially and equally, including litigants, attorneys, staff and the public.

Local races information was compiled by the League of Women Voters of Centre County.

Centre County Judge of the Court of Common Pleas

Term: 10 years

Question: What experience or expertise in your background uniquely qualifies you to assume the role of Judge of the Court of Common Pleas?


Brian K. Marshall

Campaign Website: brianforjudge.com

Date of Birth: Aug. 13, 1974

Education: Penn State, B.S., accounting; Dickinson School of Law, J.D.

Occupation: Attorney/partner, Miller Kistler & Campbell

Qualifications: Fifteen years experience practicing law in Pennsylvania courts with an emphasis on family and criminal law, the most frequent cases in county court. 2017 Centre County Bar Association president. Certified divorce financial analyst. Trained mediator.

Answer to question: While I have diverse experience in civil and criminal law, I have additional training related to family law, which makes up a large portion of a judge’s work. I am a certified divorce financial analyst, which uniquely qualifies me to understand the financial aspects of divorce. I am trained in and practice collaborative law, which is a commitment by the parties to find mutually acceptable legal agreements while avoiding the cost and damaging effects of traditional litigation. I am also a trained mediator, qualifying me to assist parties reach a resolution in those cases that are not assigned to me as judge.

Ronald S. McGlaughlin

Campaign website: ronforjudge.com

Date of Birth: Sept. 9, 1959

Education: Susquehanna University, B.A.; Ohio Northern University, J.D.

Occupation: Attorney at Stover, McGlaughlin, P.C.

Qualifications: Thirty-one years of experience as a trial lawyer, with extensive focus in criminal and family law; two years as law clerk in Mifflin County; common-sense philosophy of protecting our families, our values and the integrity of the court.

Answer to question: For 31 years, I have practiced extensively in criminal and family law, the areas of the law that most often come before a common pleas court judge. In my career, I have handled hundreds of cases in front of a judge and have represented clients in many jury trials — I am the only candidate to have such experience. I have firsthand knowledge of and experience with how the court operates and with the multifaceted job a judge performs. My temperament, knowledge of the law and career experience makes me uniquely qualified to render decisions in a skilled and fair manner.

Magisterial District Judge (District 49-02-01)

Term: 6 years

Question: What experience uniquely qualifies you for this position?


Casey McClain

Website: caseymcclain.com

Date of birth: Aug. 21, 1977

Education: 1999 B.A. Penn State; 2002 J.D. Pitt Law

Occupation: Trial lawyer Public Defender Office; adjunct professor PSU Law

Qualifications: Trial lawyer 16 years, adjunct professor four years, guest judge PSU Law seven years, Leadership Centre County, Criminal Justice Advisory Board member, Schlow Centre Region Library and Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art board member.

Answer to question: A judge is elected to make tough legal decisions, to get the decisions correct and to do so with integrity. I have the most courtroom experience as a trial lawyer. As a practicing trial lawyer, I have represented clients thousands of times in court during my 14 years with the Public Defender Office. I have had 20 trials and even argued in the Superior Court multiple times. I am an adjunct professor tasked with training law students on how to be trial lawyers. These accomplishments coupled with being honored with the John R. Miller Jr. Civility Award demonstrates experience you can trust.

Dave White

Date of birth: Sept. 6, 1963

Education: 1985 Pennsylvania State University, B.S. administration of justice; 1989 Pennsylvania State University, MPA — public administration

Occupation: Retired police officer

Qualifications: Master police officer/traffic specialist — State College Police Department for 31 years; PA ACT 120 Certification

Answer to question: I have 30 years of courtroom experience as a State College police officer and I have more district court experience than any other candidate. I am skilled in traffic and criminal law, warrant service, arraignments and all court procedures. My master’s degree in public administration adds to a unique blend of organizational management, law and police background. I am the experienced candidate for the role of district judge because I have the training of a police officer, district court expertise, formal education to administer effective court services and the passion to serve our community and keep it safe.

Louis R. Lombardi

Campaign website: www.Lombardi4Magistrate.com

Date of birth: May 13, 1963

Education: Pennsylvania State University, B.S. 1986; Brooklyn Law School, J.S., cum laude, 1998

Current Occupation: Attorney/law instructor

Qualifications: New York City police, 20 years: supervisor, 15 years; captain, 10 years. Oversaw domestic abuse and drug crime cases. Licensed attorney, 20 years in N.Y., N.J., Pa. and federal courts; law instructor, 8 years.

Answer to question: An effective district magistrate requires both a criminal and civil background. As a retired police captain, a practicing attorney and law instructor, I not only meet the requirements, I bring direct and considerable experience in overseeing police; submitting and executing search warrants; assessing domestic abuse as well as drug addiction and drug-related cases; and in representing clients in civil matters including landlord/tenant and other contract and business issues. I have experience in district through appellate courts. I have knowledge, skill and ability for the position. Above all, I am independent, the most important qualification for an effective, trusted judge.

Robert Bascom

Campaign website: www.facebook.com/BASCOMFORJUDGE

Date of birth: Jan. 18, 1965

Education: Rutgers University, B.S., 1988; Widener University School of Law, J.D., 1992; National Criminal Defense College, 1997

Occupation: Robert H. Bascom Jr., attorney at law; president, Tussey Settlement Inc.

Qualifications: Twenty years practicing attorney; business owner; law instructor; graduate of Leadership Centre County; Centre County Drug and Alcohol Planning Council; extensive appearances before district courts.

Answer to question: I have been an attorney for the past 25 years with experience in both criminal and civil law. In addition to running my own law firm, I am an owner and president of Tussey Settlement Inc. I have extensive appearances before the magisterial courts and other state and federal courts. I am a graduate of the National Criminal Defense College, taught at Widener University in its trial advocacy program and have served as a director of local and statewide organizations. My family and I currently live on our farm in Pennsylvania Furnace.

Robert Stewart

Date of Birth: Oct. 20, 1964

Education: 1982 SCASD graduate; 1984 HACC business program; 1992 completed Pennsylvania state constable training; 2005-2006 completed minor Judiciary Education Board training; 2007 Leadership Centre County.

Occupation: Commercial Real Estate Management

Qualifications: Previously certified by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on two occasions to serve as magisterial district judge; served as Pennsylvania state constable.

Answer to question: Former Pennsylvania state constable and currently a small business owner who takes pride in bringing businesses and jobs to Centre County. My life experiences have given me the opportunity to work with and help people from all walks of life. I have been previously certified by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on two occasions to serve as a magisterial district judge. Public service runs in my blood: My father served as justice of the peace and College Township councilman, my twin brother, Ralph, currently serves as Bellefonte Borough manager and my mother retired from Centre County government.

Kristin Scipione

Candidate did not reply.

Justin Bish

Campaign website: www.justinbish.com

Date of birth: Nov. 12, 1989

Education: Penn State University, B.A.; Penn State Dickinson School of Law, J.D.

Occupation: Attorney at McQuaide Blasko/Army officer

Qualifications: Litigation attorney; battery executive officer in Pa. Army National Guard; co-founder of Penn State Law’s Veterans and Service members Legal Clinic; PSU Army ROTC Alumni Interest Group; vice president, State College American Legion Judge Advocate

Answer to question: I believe my combination of military service and legal experience as a litigation attorney uniquely qualifies me to handle every case that would come before a district judge and understand the citizens I serve. I have practiced in district courts and common pleas courts across the commonwealth. My current practice includes litigating landlord-tenant disputes, contractual disputes, property damage claims and minor criminal citations. Additionally, I am a legal advocate for veterans and service members in an array of legal issues that face our community’s finest. I have had prior legal experience serving the Ohio attorney general and Montgomery County district attorney.

Magisterial District Judge (District 49-03-03)

Term: 6 years

Question: What experience uniquely qualifies you for this position?


Allen W. Sinclair

Candidate did not reply.

Centre County District Attorney

Term: 4 years

Question: If elected or re-elected, what would be your top three priorities for the District Attorney’s Office over the next four years?


Stacy Parks Miller

Campaign Website: www.spm4da.com

Date of Birth: March 20, 1969

Education: 1991 B.S. marketing, IUP; 1994 juris doctorate degree, Duquesne University

Occupation: Centre County district attorney — seven years

Qualifications: Twice-elected DA, first assistant DA, deputy coroner. 23 years criminal investigative/prosecutorial experience. Supervisor and a “hands-on” trial prosecutor. Record of success getting justice for homicide/violent crime victims, child victims and the elderly. I fight for victims.

Answer to question: Centre County citizens expect results, and that is what my office has consistently given them. When police arrest criminals, we will continue to win cases and seek appropriate sentences that protect our county’s residents. With the new grand jury, and my extensive experience using the latest advancements in crime, we will become more proactive, beating back the heroin epidemic, defeating the dealers and helping addicts. We will continue to protect children from monsters they know. Sometimes it seems the criminals have all the rights, but we will use every tool for all victims to ensure they get justice.

Bernie Cantorna

Campaign website: www.bernie4da.com

Date of birth: Nov. 14, 1962

Education: University of Wisconsin Law School, cum laude; multiple awards; certified public accountant

Occupation: Partner, Bryant & Cantorna, P.C.

Qualifications: Trial attorney and criminal defense lawyer, 27 years. Former public defender. Former clinical professor of law for trial advocacy and criminal law. Currently teaching post graduate law. Defended more than 1,800 criminal cases.

Answer to question: (1) We must aggressively prosecute crimes of sexual assault and child abuse. (2) The opioid and heroin crisis demands a comprehensive approach in partnership with law enforcement and the community. Dealers should receive lengthy prison sentences but addicts need treatment. (3) The DA’s office needs to work in a positive manner through education, rehabilitation and measured prosecutions. I am in favor of diversion programs; drug, alcohol and mental health courts that address underlying causes of crime; and work release and re-entry programs that reduce recidivism.

Bellefonte Borough Mayor

Term: 4 years

Question: What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing Bellefonte and how would you handle it?


Thomas J. Wilson

Date of birth: Oct. 20, 1946

Education: Bellefonte Area High School

Current Occupation: Semi-retired

Qualifications: Borough Council, four years; mayor, four years.

Answer to question: An important issue is the opioid crisis. Police forces are stretched trying to deal with this epidemic. This also places a financial strain on our boroughs to maintain a top-notch police force. It is difficult to keep taxes at an acceptable level while maintaining expected services, i.e. fire, refuse, streets, water, etc. My philosophy in handling borough issues is to face the need for balance of cost vs. need. With the rising costs of services and equipment, boroughs will have to start looking at consolidation with surrounding townships. Consolidation is not popular, but reality is sometimes an unpopular truth.

Bellefonte Borough Council

Question: What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing Bellefonte and how would you handle it?

Ward 1


Jon E. Eaton

Date of birth: Nov. 30, 1959

Education: Bald Eagle-Nittany High School, Mill Hall, 1977; Penn State, mechanical engineering, B.S. 1981, M.S., 1991.

Occupation: Senior Propulsor designer and acting head of the fluid machinery department at the Applied Research Lab of Penn State.

Qualifications: Thirty-six years of engineering and program management experience. Successfully proposed and managed multimillion dollar projects with industry sponsors.

Answer to question: The immediate issue facing Bellefonte, like all municipalities, is funding our current staff, infrastructure and pension/bond obligations. We face these issues at a time of declining state and federal support and, therefore, must carry that burden ourselves. Abandoning or selling current municipal utilities and services, like some communities, is shortsighted and, long term, detrimental. If we want to be an attractive community for current and prospective new residents, we must maintain and upgrade our current facilities in a cost-conscious manner. Based on my professional and personal experience, it is my goal to be a strong advocate for these efforts.

Melissa Hombosky

Date of birth: Oct. 19, 1978

Education: Penn College of Technology, B.S., 2002

Occupation: Partner, 3twenty9 Design (Graphic & Web Dev./Design)

Qualifications: Bellefonte Borough Council, one year; State College Young Professionals secretary and president, seven years

Answer to question: I believe the prime issue facing Bellefonte is quite positive: We are in the midst of an economic revival. It is important to continue to foster a welcoming environment, not only to current and startup companies that spur economic growth, but also to the individuals and families that shop and live here. Right now there is a great opportunity for positive change — and I think this is achievable if we think outside the box. I believe that I can offer a unique perspective as a young professional and small business owner with roots in the community.

Ward 2


Taylor Lake

Date of birth: Nov. 28, 1955

Education: Ph.D. in American studies, May 2002, University of Iowa at Iowa City; M.A. in American studies, August 1995, University of Iowa in Iowa City; M.A. in communications studies, Memphis State University, December 1988; B.A. in English literature, University of Alabama in Huntsville, June 1978.

Occupation: Lecturer, communication arts and sciences, Penn State

Qualifications: No previous experience in government. I have experience teaching communication courses at Indiana University, Gary, Ind., (2002-2012) and The Art of Public Speaking with an emphasis on citizen engagement at Penn State since August 2012. I did community service in Gary, Ind., at the local community television studio. I am a lifelong learner who is not afraid of hard work and loves getting things done.


Randall Brachbill

Date of birth: Aug. 14, 1954

Education: Bellefonte High School and CPI graduate, 1972

Occupation: Vice president of facilities at AccuWeather.com

Qualifications: Currently completing my first term on Bellefonte council, running for re-election. Serve as member NVJPC, Civil Service Commission, COG Public Safety, Planning and Housing Committees. 35 years experience in building maintenance field in health care and private business, leadership roles as supervisor, assistant director, director and vice president overseeing major projects.

Answer to question: We continue working on parking and infrastructure issues. All issues are important and each deserves attention. Residents have issues that are individually important requiring the involvement of council. Flooding during heavy rains affect residents in different areas of Bellefonte, we are working to correct. High health care costs affect the general budget. Working to market the waterfront and armory properties. Borough Council is challenged to keep taxes low and provide basic services residents expect: streets, water, sewage, trash removal, free brush/grass pickup, police, fire services, parks. I am seeking re-election and will continue to serve Bellefonte in securing future prosperity and success for our residents.

Evan Duffey

Date of birth: Nov. 20, 1989

Education: 2011, SUNY Oswego, B.S Meteorology

Occupation: Meteorologist, AccuWeather Inc.

Qualifications: Eagle Scout; Captain Logan Fire Co No. 1; Pa. constable; Alpha Phi Omega Community Service Fraternity member

Answer to question: Helping Bellefonte continue to grow. My approach would be to stabilize the tax situation, continue to encourage development of available properties and create a positive environment for business. I’d like to work to address the parking woes in the borough, as the current difficulties can be a deterrent for some. We need to try to find ways to attract more youthful residents and young professionals to our borough. At the same time, growth has to be done in a way that preserves Bellefonte’s historical charm and fantastic green spaces.

Ward 3


Anne Walker

Candidate did not reply.

R. Michael Prendergast

Date of birth: Feb. 3, 1951

Education: 1998 Pennsylvania State University, Altoona campus, associate’s degree in mechanical engineering

Occupation: In-Process inspector/Solidworks operator

Qualifications: Ferguson Township engineer technician seven-and-a-half years

Answer to question: Growth is the most important issue facing Bellefonte. We have more than our share of empty store fronts and the number of shoppers barely keeps open stores in business. There is a lack of parking in Bellefonte proper, as well as a lack of public transportation. The waterfront project is helping and getting businesses to locate there will be a beneficial. We also need to make the downtown more accessible. I’d like to be part of the rebirth of Bellefonte. There are other issues I’d like to look into such as pedestrian safety and traffic issues, but I believe growth will be the catalyst for the town’s revival.


Ted H. Conklin

Date of birth: Sept. 9, 1952

Education: 1974, Millersville University, B.S.

Occupation: Retired teacher

Qualifications: Developed Gamble Mill (beginning 1972) and William Thomas House (beginning 1970) and placed both on National Historic Register; resident in Bellefonte waterfront district for 43 years; technology instructor at Bald Eagle for 34 years.

Answer to question: Bellefonte has a rich history and amazing architecture. With the new waterfront, Bellefonte can build a new future on its historically important past. I envision a future Bellefonte that features its key waterfront area, preserves an environmentally self-conscious and sustainable business community and places the area along Spring Creek back on the tax rolls. The waterfront area is Bellefonte’s new gem. Where else can one enjoy outdoor activities in the middle of a town? With careful stewardship, stewardship sensitive to the beauty and economic potential of the town, Bellefonte might become the region’s most affordable and exciting place to live.

Michael Andriaccio

Date of birth: May 12, 1965

Education: 1985 SUNY Stony Brook; 1985 NYPD Police Academy; 1993 Nassau County Police Academy

Occupation: Innkeeper

Qualifications: 22 years police officer, 10 years business owner.

Answer to question: The difficulty of historic buildings conforming to current building code and the cost associated with it. The problem is a major factor in buildings not being renovated. Owners fear renovations or improvements will open a Pandora’s box of extra costs associated with building codes. Solution: An inspection of buildings, where the inspectors are granted some latitude and freedom to inspect the spirit of the code and not the letter of the code. Institute an oversight committee that would adjudicate complaints of the building owners. Provide reasonable alternatives and solutions to code issues.

State College Borough Mayor

Term: 4 years

Question: What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing State College and how would you handle it?


Janet Engeman

Campaign website: www.engemanformayor.com

Date of birth: May 14, 1943

Education: 1961 Barnard; 1965 Lock Haven University, economics B.A.

Occupation: Writer/photographer

Qualifications: Member State College Borough Council; member Spring Creek Watershed Commission; participant in environmental groups. Extensive professional background in: management, product conceptualization, planning, design and development; client negotiation; conference presentations of product benefits to large and small groups.

Answer to question: The most important issue is management of sensible and constructive development. We need to balance the needs of the university for housing and the preservation of the downtown and neighborhoods of the borough. We can re-examine the parameters of the Commercial Incentive District. We can work creatively in the rezoning process to integrate the needs of permanent residents and the student population. We need to address housing for young professionals, retirees and the local workforce. Cramped and crowded student off-campus dorms is not the answer for the growth of a vibrant and healthy community. The cooperation of the university is necessary, and I would facilitate opening up channels of communication.

Don M. Hahn

Campaign website: DonHahnforMayor.com

Date of birth: Oct. 20, 1964

Education: Penn State, BA, 1987; Villanova Law, J.D., 1992

Occupation: Attorney

Qualifications: State College Borough Council member, 12 years; president, two years. Pennsylvania Municipal League board, four years; district chair, one year. State College Planning Commission, RDA, CDBG, CAC. Middle District Bankruptcy Bar Association president, one year. PBA Pro Bono Award, 2013, 2003.

Answer to question: State College is a great place to live. However, the borough’s primary focus should be neighborhood sustainability rather than growth. Under the borough charter, the primary role of the major is as ceremonial head of State College. If elected, I will advise, encourage and warn council about the importance of protecting neighborhoods. Also, at a time when diversity, the environment and education are under unprecedented attack in Washington, our next mayor must be ready to be the face of diversity and to mobilize the good will in our community in order to effect progressive change in Harrisburg and Washington.

Michael Black

Campaign websites: mayorblack.com and facebook.com/statecollegemayor

Education: B.S., exercise and sport science, Springfield College, 1986; M.S.Ed., counseling psychology, College of Education, University of Pennsylvania, 1988; Ph.D. (ABD), higher education, College of Education, Pennsylvania State University.

Occupation: Creative director, photographer, designer and owner, BLACK SUN Studio

Answer to question: I believe we have to protect, preserve and enhance our neighborhoods, open areas and green spaces. I believe we have to energize and support business growth. I believe we have to embrace our total community and make it our business that State College is inclusive, welcoming and safe. I can address our key issues as mayor with sound value-based leadership and 30 years of professional experience. We must begin by listening to all voices of our community. We can position State College as a premier destination to live, work, learn and play. Together We Are State College.

Catherine Dauler

Campaign website: www.cathydauler.com

Education: Marietta College, B.A., history; Lesley University, M.Ed. reading education.

Occupation: Teacher

Qualifications: Council member, 14 years; past president, College Heights Association, member and past president; National League of Cities, finance, administration and intergovernmental relations committee; race, equity and leadership initiative. Pennsylvania Federation of Democratic Women, 2014 Outstanding Elected Democratic Woman Award

Answer to question: The pressures of development are the greatest challenge we face as a community. Maintaining the quality of life we value and sustaining our tax base requires preserving our neighborhoods, encouraging home ownership and assuring the vitality of our downtown. All must be considered as State College begins a comprehensive zoning rewrite. My efforts to encourage community participation in the decisions on rezoning will continue as mayor just as I have advocated for the rewrite as a council member. There will be many opportunities for citizen engagement. Community support and input will assure the result is right for State College.

State College Borough Council

Term: 4 years

Question: What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing State College and how would you handle it?


Theresa Lafer

Education: 1970, Simmons College, B.A.; 1974, SUNY-Binghamton, M.A.; 1998, Penn State University, M.Ed

Occupation: Staff Access Services, Penn State

Qualifications: Borough Council; COG, Transportation and Land Use Committee; Regional MPO; NLC committees including IT, Transportation, Economic Development, Women in Municipal Government; Citizens’ Advisory Committee for block grant allocation (2000-2007).

Answer to question: Planning for and accommodating growth, while maintaining and improving the quality of our residential and business neighborhoods. Surveys, public meetings and letters consistently show that borough residents want State College to retain its character, provide or expand services and remain safe, attractive and welcoming. We need to continue to balance our budget while working to broaden our revenue stream, which requires working with our state and federal representatives. Focusing on these objectives will support downtown businesses; preserve quality affordable housing for our diverse population; and maintain our welcoming community for students, visitors, families and retirees.

Evan Myers

Campaign website: www.statecollege.com/pages/politics/evan-myers/

Date of Birth: Jan. 18, 1950

Education: 1971, Penn State

Occupation: AccuWeather COO, focused on budgets, operations and people.

Qualifications: Currently State College Borough Council and vice chair COG Finance Committee. Previously, Consolidation Study Commission, Downtown Strategic Plan Committee, Planning Commission. State College has been my home for 47 years. My wife, Lynn, and I have raised three children here.

Answer to question: We face a shrinking tax base, pressure on homeowners, and we need a tough and thorough review of zoning codes, covering building size and height and the impact on density and safety. I support strong and sustainable neighborhoods. To address these issues we need to find new sources of revenue to sustain our quality of life without additionally burdening taxpayers. We must fast track a zoning rewrite, strengthen neighborhoods by working to gain more affordable and inclusionary housing, increase homeownership and protect and enhance neighborhood parks and shopping. We need to encourage diversity and inclusiveness, protect minority rights and engage students.

Steve Mower

Campaign website: www.votestevemower.com

Date of birth: Oct. 8, 1944

Education: Wesleyan University 1967

Occupation: Retired

Qualifications: 40 years of executive leadership with General Motors, Thomson Reuters. Board member-College Heights Association.

Answer to question: People want to know how we can maintain and enhance our residential neighborhoods while building a thriving downtown. We need to define the vision of what we want State College to be. We need to determine the nature of the future State College — what kind of people do we want to attract? Do we want a downtown that has increased businesses, do we want families to live closer to the downtown area, do we want more student housing in the areas closest to Penn State? These questions can be addressed by opening lines of communication between neighborhood associations and the borough.

Rylie E. Cooper

Campaign website: www.facebook.com/RylieCooperSC

Date of birth: March 12, 1998

Education: 2016, East Juniata Jr.-Sr. High School; 2020, Pennsylvania State University, B.A.

Occupation: Student

Answer to question: Two issues are at our forefront: housing and programs. First, affordable and fair housing is endangered. We need to meet the needs of families who’ve lived here for decades, as well as students, who energize our community and economy. Second, we need an engaging, safe town. I spoke with the chief of police about initiatives we could implement if we had the revenue. Let’s be a responsible and active borough by lobbying Harrisburg for rights the borough needs to serve residents. As a council member, I’ll make my solutions equitable by engaging different groups in the community and hearing voices previously unheard.

Dan Murphy

Campaign website: facebook.com/danmurphysce

Date of Birth: Feb. 17

Education: Western Michigan University, B.A.; James Madison University, M.Ed.

Occupation: Director, Student Orientation and Transition Programs, Penn State

Qualifications: Board of Directors, Association for Orientation, Transition and Retention in Higher Education, three years Penn State: Budget Administration, Personnel Management, Strategic Planning, President’s Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity. State College resident committed to service.

Answer to question: The greatest issue facing State College is how we talk about and treat our neighbors. I have watched the national conversation devolve from legitimate policy concerns to name calling and disrespect. We have weathered many national trends, but when it comes to operating from a foundation grounded in respect for all residents, we have some work to do. We must commit ourselves to thoughtful conversation about the future of State College. I will lead conversations where we listen to understand each other, respect the lived experience of all residents and seek answers from all that call State College home.

Marina Cotarelo

Candidate did not reply.


Richard Fitzgerald

Date of birth: July 6, 1959

Education: 1982, Pennsylvania State University, B.S.

Occupation: Strategic purchasing agent, Penn State

Qualifications: I have not had the privilege to hold an elected office. I previously worked for Centre Region Council of Governments. I have been involved in strategic plan development, budget preparation and review and contract negotiations.

Answer to question: The Borough of State College is at a crossroads. Based on conversations with citizens in the borough, many feel now may be the time to change course and redefine the role of local government in our daily lives. Should the services continue to be provided by the borough, turned over to private sector companies, or through the creation of private/public partnerships. The strategic plan is due for an update. This exercise will be the critical step in mapping out a plan and vision, via input from citizens, as to what State College will look like for years to come.

Lynn Herman

Date of birth: Oct. 30, 1956

Qualifications: 24 years elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, House Education Committee and Sub-committee on Higher Education; chairman of the House Local Government Committee; Local Government Commission; chairman and member of College Township Council; member of Centre Region COG; chairman of State College Borough Authorities Board.

Answer to question: There are many pressing issues facing the residents and taxpayers of State College borough ranging from tight fiscal matters in an ever shrinking tax base and demand for more services, new high-rise business establishments that need to conform to safety and building codes, and neighborhood preservation in a borough that is seeing more college students with disrespectful behaviors of residents’ property and our lifestyles. Approving a balanced budget without additional taxes or fees, fully supporting the borough police, fire and emergency responders, and supporting Schlow Library, senior citizen centers and abundant recreation facilities for our youth and active adults.

College Township

Term: 2 years

Question: What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing College Township and how would you handle it?


Eric Bernier

Campaign website: twitter.com/EricBCollegeTwp and www.linkedin.com/in/l-eric-bernier-88a14772/

Date of birth: Oct. 19, 1957

Education: State College High School (1975); Penn State (1975-1979); United States Army Reserve (1979-1985)

Occupation: Director of Information Services for CATA

Qualifications: College Township Council: five years (2013-present); College Township Planning Commission: 15 years (1997-2012); 32-year career in the public sector developing creative solutions for critical public services through numerous community/business/university related partnerships

Answer to question: The temptation is to choose one of the recent hot button issues — traffic calming, student/affordable housing, open space preservation, taxes ... However, to me, it’s dealing with all of them concurrently and in the context of the big picture. I would continue to handle it in the same deliberate manner that constantly engages the public; remaining disciplined and having faith and trust in the planning tools that the community has developed through an open and deliberate public process. These tools identify a balanced vision for both the township and the region and provide context guidelines when evaluating any of these important issues.


Anthony Fragola

Date of birth: Sept. 25, 1968

Education: 1997, Penn State, B.S. economics with a module in macroeconmics/money and banking

Occupation: Small business owner — Kabenme Ventures LLC DBA Fibrenew Alleghenies

Qualifications: Appointed to College Township Council, one-and-a-half years; served on the College Township Planning Commission for eight years; College Township Industrial Development Authority as treasurer for six years; graduate of the Leadership Centre County Class of 2004

Ferguson Township Supervisor

Term: 4 years

Question: What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing Ferguson Township and how would you handle it?



Steve Miller

Candidate did not reply.

Tom “Tony” Ricciardi

Campaign website: www.facebook.com/tonytomsupervisor/

Date of birth: Nov. 6, 1979

Education: 2001, Pennsylvania State University, B.A.

Occupation: WBUS-FM program director/on-air personality with Forever Media, State College

Qualifications: Program director WBUS for more than 12 years, on the advisory boards for Central PA 4th Fest and The State Theatre.

Answer to question: The most important issue facing Ferguson Township is the balance between the environment and development. We’ve seen in the past few years what happens when these two entities come to loggerheads. The growth boundary being challenged. Natural resources at risk. Lawsuits. “NIMBY”-ism. There is a place in Ferguson Township for the expanding population, future development and preserving our natural resources. It should be explored and debated, and I will support pragmatic solutions concerning the future of this diverse area in the Centre Region.


Janet Whitaker

Candidate did not reply.

Ward 3


Sara Carlson

Campaign website: www.facebook.com/SaraCarlsonForFergusonTownshipSupervisor/

Date of birth: Oct. 2, 1976

Education: Penn State, B.A. in anthropology — cum laude

Occupation: Research project manager, Penn State

Qualification: Served as board president for Friends & Farmers Cooperative; Serving fifth year as director for Friends & Farmers Cooperative Board; 15-plus years experience research, management of multimillion dollar budgets through NIH, PSU and U.S. Department of Defense.

Answer to question: In Ferguson Township, as in the Centre Region, there is a careful balance between conservation of agricultural and undeveloped land and economic growth. This issue will continue to be critical due to overall growth in Centre County. Ferguson Township was rated as the third best place to live in Pennsylvania, this speaks to how well economic development is already being managed within the township, but being able to maintain a local focus on development would be a priority for me as a township supervisor. Giving local farms and businesses the opportunity to grow economically will benefit everyone within the township.

Mike Radis

Date of birth: Sept. 7, 1946

Education: 1968, Penn State, B.S.; 1972, Temple University, M.Ed.; 1976, University of North Dakota, Ed.D.

Occupation: Retired

Qualifications: Ferguson Township supervisor, eight years; represented Ferguson Township on Schlow Centre Region Library board, four years; vice chair Centre County Advisory Council to Pa. Human Relations Commission.

Answer to question: I believe that the most important issue facing Ferguson Township at this time is the apparent uncontrolled spread of development. It is my position that development can be good for the area but that there must be regard for the security of existing neighborhoods as well as the safety of the natural resources that affect not only the township but the entire region. I am not against development but firmly believe that it must be planned with the best interests of the township in mind.

Harris Township Supervisor

Term: 4 years

Question: What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing Harris Township and how would you handle it?


Richard Frank

Campaign website: fb.me/richardfrankgov

Date of birth: Sept. 29, 1972

Education: 1994, Penn State, B.A.

Occupation: VP, creative director at AccuWeather

Qualifications: Husband, father and resident of Harris Township; 23 years of business leadership experience; volunteer and supporter at Mount Nittany Elementary School.

Answer to question: The biggest issue facing Harris Township is the balance between new development and protecting our unique, village way of life intact ... especially when looking at the future of the Boal Avenue corridor. As the gateway to our community, this simply is a process we cannot get wrong. Using my business experience, I will work with residents, families, developers and local business owners to make sure we increase amenities for or community and enrich the charm, history and natural beauty of our area. We need leaders focused on the next 20 years of Harris Township, not just the past.

Nigel Wilson

Date of birth: Nov. 18, 1958

Education: 1976 graduate, SCAHS; 1981 graduate, B.A. sociology, Penn State

Occupation: School bus driver/instructor/third-party examiner, SCASD

Qualifications: Harris Township supervisor since January 1994: chairman 2005, 2010, 2015; chairman of Centre Region Council of Governments’ Human Resources Committee since 1998; chairman of Centre Region Council of Governments 2015.

Answer to question: Harris Township has been experiencing record growth during the last few years, and it is responsive stewardship and welcomed resident input that has ensured that it is proactively and responsibly implemented. Managing development without adversely affecting the rural character and charm of the community has always been a priority for me as a supervisor. I remain committed to utilizing zoning and land use regulations, as well as offering incentives for the creation of open space and enhanced environmentally friendly features in all new development. I am honored to serve and represent the input of all Harris Township residents.


Charles Bud Graham

Candidate did not reply.

Matthew Auman

Candidate did not reply.

Patton Township Supervisor

Term: 4 and 6 years

Question: What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing Patton Township and how would you handle it?

6-year term


Dan Trevino

Date of birth: May 15, 1943

Education: 1965, University of Texas Austin, B.S.; 1970, University of Texas Austin, Ph.D.

Occupation: Retired

Qualifications: Patton Township supervisor — eight months; 30-year resident of Centre Region (past 14 years in Patton Township).

Answer to question: There are several important issues, not just one: maintaining and improving our quality of life, protecting the environment, responsible development and stewardship of taxpayer’s money. I support strong police, fire protection and EMS services. I support initiatives to protect our water sources. I support increasing/improving our parks and recreation assets. I support maintaining our township’s strong financial position and continuing the high level of township services (e.g. police, roads). I promise the voters to always do what’s right and best for our citizens.

William J. Burnett

Date of birth: January 1980

Education: Washburn University, J.S., 2007; Golden Gate University, M.S., taxation, 2004; University of California at Davis, B.A. political science and theatre arts, 2003.

Occupation: Attorney specializing in tax issues, tax planning and business tax incentive consulting.

Qualifications: Member of the Patton Township Zoning Hearing Board since September 2016; member of the Alpha Fire Company since 2014.

Answer to question: Patton Township is growing. With growth we are seeing greater demand for emergency services. The Alpha Fire Company has seen an increase in calls 14 percent since I joined the department in 2014. Development drives the need for emergency services. Consider the codes department’s current thinking: that the cost of a commercial building permit reflects the cost of operating the Code Agency. I believe, adding a growth impact fee on new construction is needed to offset the cost of emergency service expansion. Thus, allowing tax dollars to maintain current level of service and not be diverted into capitol expansions.

Jessica Buckland

Campaign website: www.facebook.com/jbpattonsupervisor/

Date of birth: Aug. 28, 1977

Education: 2000 B.A. psychology Penn State University; 2006 M.A. Psychology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania; 2012 Psy. D. in clinical psychology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Occupation: Licensed clinical psychologist in independent private practice.

Qualifications: Passionate, dedicated resident. Small-business owner. Single mom. Born/raised in State College, spent most of adult life here.

Answer to questions: Patton Township faces how to integrate affordable housing into our ongoing growth (e.g., development of empty mobile home lot). Affordable housing requires participation from government, business and residents. A township supervisor must be able to negotiate, advocate and integrate all parties so that affordable housing is feasible and appealing. We must create incentives for businesses and developers that benefit all our residents, especially those who cannot afford R1/2 housing or who would prefer to rent. As supervisor, I would advocate for lower-income residents. I would use creative solutions that both protect our resources/land and generate revenue through cooperation and collaboration.


Mark Parfitt

Campaign website: www.ParfittForPatton.com

Date of birth: June 12, 1978

Education: MBA, State University of New York; Bachelor of Science, St. Francis University; Associate in Specialized Business, South Hills School of Business & Technology.

Occupation: Management and marketing consultant (self-employed); adjunct business instructor, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College.

Qualifications: Current Patton Township CATA representative; eight years public-sector leadership experience, Penn State and SUNY.

Answer to question: Our top priority should be setting a vision for the next 20 to 30 years. With no end in sight to residential, business and student growth, it’s likely that we will max out availability within our regional growth boundaries. The best time to figure out “what’s next” is now. Additionally, the Centre Region needs to develop and implement a digital and economic infrastructure plan that will allow us to attract new businesses, diversify our economy, support entrepreneurs and address critical needs, including workforce housing, expanded public transportation and an increased supply of talent for skilled trade positions.

4-year term


Betsy Whitman

Campaign website: BetsyWhitmanForSupervisor.com

Date of birth: April 4, 1951

Education: Mary Washington University, B.A., 1973

Occupation: Retired

Qualifications: Patton Open Space Stewardship Committee, four years; Board of Directors, SCASD Education Foundation, one year; Board of Directors, Pa. Native Plant Society, two years; Co-Director, Friends of State High (for State High Project), six months; organizer, educator, Tudek pollinator garden, six years.

Answer to question: Maintaining our quality of life. My approach would be two-pronged: 1) Building relationships and initiating community conversations by walking township neighborhoods. Concerns I’ve heard to date include pedestrian safety and traffic along North Atherton; too much student housing, not enough workplace housing; need for additional, less-crowded, CATA bus routes; loving township parks, but wanting more soccer fields across regional parks. 2) Seeking collaborative, sustainable solutions by engaging residents; talking to locally owned businesses and elected officials; consulting Patton and regional authorities, boards and commissions; tapping into collective experience of statewide groups (eg., the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors).


Mark Parfitt

Parfitt is also running for the six-year term. Qualifications are published under the heading for the six-year term.

Bellefonte Area School Board

Term: 4 years

Question: Given the funding challenges of public school districts, what do you believe should be the priorities of the Bellefonte Area School District?


Kristen Bruckner

Campaign website: www.kristenbruckner.org

Date of birth: Dec. 9, 1970

Education: 1993, Penn State B.S. elementary education

Occupation: Project manager — Blackboard Inc.

Qualifications: Degree in elementary education; resident of Bellefonte Area School District for 17 years; two children in the district — 11th grade and third grade; K-12 project manager with Blackboard for nine years.

Answer to question: If elected, my priority will be to learn everything about the district’s budget and needs, then determine which current and future projects will most benefit the students and families, then prioritize them. I would like to evaluate the impact of charter schools. I believe it would be beneficial to the district’s finances to see how we can get some of those students back into Bellefonte’s classrooms.

The district has several facilities that need attention. I want to closely evaluate the options that have been presented and prioritize by need and cost efficiency.

Rodney E. Musser

Date of birth: Nov. 28, 1951

Education: 1969, Bellefonte grad; 1974, Michigan State University, B.S.

Occupation: Self-employed merchant, farmer.

Qualifications: Elected to the school board in 1997; I have 37 cumulative years of volunteer experience with the Peace Corps, VISTA, Spring Township Planning Commission, Centre County Agland Preservation Board and the Bellefonte Area school board.

Answer to question: Education, education, education.

Jon E. Guizar

Education: 2003, Penn State University, B.S. civil engineering

Occupation: Civil engineer/senior project manager, Bridge Construction

Qualifications: BASD school director, two years; BASD Facilities Sub-Committee chair, one year; NARC board member, four years; SCRC president, four years; SCRC board member, nine years; civil engineer/manager for Nestlerode Contracting, 18-plus years.

Answer to question: The priorities of the district are and always should be our students. Preparing today’s students to meet the challenges of tomorrow. Rising above the daily minutia and planning for success in the long term while developing policies that address both the short term needs and the long-term goals; that should be the funding priorities for the Bellefonte Area School District.

State College Area School Board

Term: 2 and 4 years

Question: Given the funding challenges of public school districts, what do you believe should be the priorities of the State College Area School District?


Arnold Tilden

Campaign website: www.facebook.com/arnold.tilden

Education: B.S., St. Lawrence University; M.Ed., St. Lawrence University; Ed.D., Temple University

Occupation: Founder, Tilden & Associates

Qualifications: School director, Huntingdon Schools, four years; doctor of education in educational psychology; 25-year career as college VP, teacher and coach.

Answer to question: The highest priority for SCASD is to prepare children to live and lead meaningful lives. SCASD graduates will be functioning in an information economy, which will require a solid foundation of knowledge upon which they can build their futures. For many, this will mean some form of postsecondary education. Investing in public education has never been more important given the ever-increasing pace of change. My campaign slogan is, “good public education means good economics.” Supporting quality public education is not only an investment in the futures of our children, it is also an economic investment in our property values.

Scott Fozard

Date of birth: May, 28, 1967

Education: B.S. accounting, 1989, Penn State

Occupation: Chief financial officer — Salimetrics LLC

Qualifications: More than 25 years of business/financial experience as a certified public accountant; small business owner. Current SCASD school board member. Leadership positions — Grace Lutheran Church (council member); American Red Cross — Blair County (board president); Leadership Centre County.

Answer to question: Funding should not materially affect our priorities. It may, however, affect how or in what time frame we carry them out. Our focus and top priority should always be our mission of educating our kids. We should always remember that they are our primary stakeholder. In SCASD, I believe our priorities should be fiscal sustainability; enhancing curriculum; closing the achievement gap between different demographic groups and establishing a sustainable long-term facilities plan or model.

David K. Hutchinson

Date of birth: Dec. 7, 1953

Education: Penn State, B.A. 1975; MBA, 1982

Occupation: Classroom AV technician

Qualifications: State College school board, 14th year; Pennsylvania School Boards Association Governing Board, seven years and current vice president; National School Climate Council; Public Issues Forum of Centre County, chair.

Answer to question: First, we need to continue to live within our means, by staying within the Act 1 index. With significant upgrades to our facilities already in the pipeline, our focus for the next several years needs to be on classroom instruction: upgrading our curriculum, particularly at the elementary level, and supporting our teachers by providing them with relevant professional development and quality collaborative planning time. We also need to continue to make progress on classroom and school climate, particularly in the high school, as we work to ensure that the entire school community feels respected, engaged and connected to their school.

Jim Leous

Campaign website: jleo.us/

Date of birth: Nov. 24, 1962

Education: B.S., physics, University of Notre Dame; M.S., astronomy, Penn State.

Occupation: IT professional

Qualifications: School board, seven-and-a-half years, vice president, three years; youth hockey coach, 21 years; Boy Scout leader, eight years; Precinct Election Board, 10 years, South Hills IT Advisory Board, four years.

Answer to question: School district funding priorities must be those that are “closest to the classroom.” Our priority is our people — the teachers, paraprofessionals, reading specialists, counselors, learning support teachers, principals, librarians, bus drivers and food service employees. Our people engage our students, develop their learning plans, celebrate their successes and keep them healthy, happy and willing to learn. We also have to plan life-cycle maintenance, renovation and renewal of our facilities, along with a funding plan to budget and finance this. Great people and good facilities should be our funding priorities.

Lori Bedell

Campaign website: loribedell.com

Date of birth: March 22, 1968

Education: 1990, Ohio University, B.A. communication; 1993, Ohio University, M.A. communication; 1995, Ohio University, A.B.D. mass communication.

Occupation: Senior lecturer, honors adviser and associate undergraduate director, Department of Communication Arts & Sciences, Penn State

Qualifications: Parent of two State College graduates; educator and student adviser, 23 years

Answer to question: If the goal of public education is to provide the best environment possible for young citizens to thrive, then the priority should be to do everything we can to create a context where that can happen. This means small class sizes with best-case-scenario student-teacher ratios. It means investing in great teachers and administrators, both in terms of quality and quantity; even great people only have so many hours in a day. Finally, it means ensuring that every student has a place — that their interests and talents find a home, and that their needs and challenges are met and supported.