In Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5 and judicial elections will be among the races on the ballots of Allegheny County voters.
Understanding how judicial elections work can be confusing. As a bar association, we have the duty to provide the public with as much information as possible to help the citizens of Allegheny County make informed choices when they vote to select candidates for Allegheny County's judiciary and when they are asked to retain current judges. Please use this website as a tool to help you understand the judicial election/retention processes and to get the ACBA’s specific recommendations on current candidates.
The Judicial Vote 2019 website is sponsored by the Judicial Excellence Committee (PAC) of the Allegheny County Bar Association.
Judicial Retention Ratings (For Sitting Judges Running for Retention)
The first type of judicial election is a Merit Retention Election. This election is for current, sitting judges whose initial 10-year terms are complete and who are running to retain their judicial positions for another 10 years. These judges are not running against any challengers. Rather, voters are being asked whether these judges should remain on the bench based on their performance, qualifications and merit. These elections are held every-other November.
To help voters make educated, informed decisions at the polls, the ACBA surveys all of its members – attorneys who practice in front of these judges – asking them whether they believe each judge should remain on the bench. Those informed opinions are then accumulated into an overall ACBA “recommended” or “not recommended” rating for each retention candidate.
The ACBA rates all of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judges who are seeking retention, as well as Pennsylvania appellate court judges whose primary office is located in Allegheny County.
Click here to view the 2019 Judicial Retention ratings
Judicial Candidate Ratings (For Potential New Judges)
The second type of election is for new judges, individuals running to be a judge for the first time. Members of the general public often are not equipped to know whether various judicial candidates are qualified to be judge. That’s why the Allegheny County Bar Association Judiciary Committee has interviewed and rated those candidates who are running for the PA Supreme Court, the PA Commonwealth Court and the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. These ratings are only for candidates who live in Allegheny County, have their principal place of business in Allegheny County, or are judges in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania court and whose judicial offices are located in Allegheny County.
The primary election was held on Tuesday, May 21. The General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 5.
Click here to view the ratings for the 2019 candidates