Monday, May 16, 2011

Three Candidates Running for District Judge

Can we please bring these wigs back?

Posted by: Noël Jones

There are three people running for the open district judge (also called magistrates) spot vacated by now Northampton County Judge, Michael Koury, and like the school board races, candidates often cross-file to be on the ballot for both parties. The district judge elections have always been a mystery to me, and as I am still pretty focused on school board and city council most of the time, they remain a mystery. The biggest mystery of all being--why does anyone think electing judges as opposed to appointing them for being qualified, is a good idea? The potential for political contributions to influence decisions seems obvious. Nonetheless, this is the way that
Pennsylvania does things. It is also interesting to know that you do not even have to have a law degree to become an elected judge, or any legal experience whatsoever (although I'm sure it helps). District judges are only required to pass a test to be be confirmed in the positions they are elected to. Strange thing is, they don't have to have passed that test to run in the primary.

The three candidates running will be representing Wilson, West Easton, and part of the West Ward. What part, seems unclear to most people I've talked to. So if you live in the West Ward, just know that this race may be on the ballot. Michael Buck of the Express-Times reports that our three candidates are Rhonda Elias, Shana Restucci, and Rich Yetter. As I have not had time to cover this race closely, being more focused on school board, mayorial and city council races, I wanted to post this so that voters have quick access to information on these three. 

I appreciate any reader comments on these candidates (please try to back them up) to help other readers make a decision, myself included! All I know about these candidates is what's in these links--and that I can't stand Restucci's syrupy patriotic song (I kid you not) that she imbedded into the home page of her web site--that alone is enough to lead me to question her judgement. Besides that, the bulk of her experience has been in assisting Northampton County Judge Ed Smith, who was responsible for letting the infamous blighted hub cap store slide for years before it was finally condemned (Smith, by the way, will be on the ballot for retention in general election--these judges are elected for 10 years at a time)


noel jones said...

here is the Morning Call's Voters Guide from last Thursday, produced by the League of Women Voters:,0,2817445.htmlpage

it explains which precincts vote in each region, both for magistrates and for school board members (called "School Directors" in the guide) as well as info on other races and candidates--I wish I had seen this sooner! i got to the polls and didn't see this race on my ballot at all, and yet the candidates' signs for the magistrates' race were outside. turns out that because my polling place has both precincts 6 & 7, the signs were for 7, not 6--confusing!

noel jones said...

Yetter won this race by a landslide!