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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: August 12, 2021 10:50 AM
From: Senator Chris Gebhard
To: All Senate members
Subject: Elimination of Option to Cross-File in All Judicial Races
In the near future I plan to introduce legislation to amend the Pennsylvania Election code of 1937 to eliminate the ability of candidates cross filing for judicial offices of county court of common pleas and magisterial district judge, formerly known as a justice of the peace, to file nomination petitions for multiple political parties in the same contest.

It is important to note that judicial candidates for the state supreme court, state superior and commonwealth court already are restricted to filling with a single party. This legislation would create a unified standard for candidates when running for a judicial office in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

While these public offices were originally intended to be non-partisan, the recent atmosphere of hyper-partisanship and judicial over-reach have unfortunately turned these positions in a political battleground. The campaigning involved for these positions has become progressively more partisan in nature and oftentimes these campaigns have even sought the support of leaders in the local Democratic and Republican parties.

This creates a confusing situation for voters when a candidate is nominated by multiple parties. The elimination of cross-filing for all judicial candidates will provide the voters with more transparency and clarity on the candidate’s positions.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as SB886