The local primaries in Allegheny county, PA are coming up on May 19th, and the most confusing race is the one for the Court of Common Pleas. It's confusing because there are 15 candidates running for 5 primary spots, and there's a lot of info to digest.
The Post-Gazette has some information about a selection of the candidates here:
The candidates' respective websites can be found at the above link as well, if you're interested.
I am generally cool with the Bar Association recommendations, a complete list of which can be found here:
There's four levels of Bar recommendation: Highly recommended, just plain old recommended, not recommended at this time, and unqualified. Dude, if the Bar Assoc. tells you that someone's not qualified to be a judge, I tend to acknowledge that. More on that later.
Now, given these sources of information, here's my somewhat informed opinion of the candidates:
My personal favorite is Judge Joe Williams. http://www.judgejoewilliam
Some others I like:
Leah Williams-Duncan, because of her record as a public defender, especially her work in the family courts. She's represented both parents and children, and she's recommended by the Bar. http://www.lwduncan4judge.
Hugh Fitzpatrick McGough, because... well, just look at his resume, especially the representative cases. http://www.mcgough4judge.c
EDIT: Phil Ignelzi (http://www.phil4judge.com/) is likely to be a good dude, once the Assistant US Attorney who was named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer and highly recommended by the bar. He spent some time defending white collar criminals, which makes me go ehhhh, but it's well-balanced by his efforts working to help victims of medical malpractice.
Arnie Klein, but this one's more iffy because my liking of him comes from the Post-Gazette blurb about him but not his own website. He has experience in family, orphans', and elder-law cases (as well as civil and criminal), and was a public defender... but his own damn site has very little of substance to it. http://www.kleinforjudge.c
You can see my biases there. I'd like to have judges on the bench who are compassionate to those who deserve and need it (retirees, battered women, orphans, poverty-stricken, etc) and throw the book at people who would prey upon them.
I am more or less indifferent to Michael Marmo (http://www.marmoforjudge.c
A couple candidates don't look too bad, but don't have very much meaningful information on their websites. Like Alex Bicket (http://www.bicket4judge.co
Another couple candidates seem like great lawyers, but they take stances that I'm kinda meh about.
Carolyn Bengel, Jeff Eisenberg, Don Walko, and Michelle Peck were all not recommended at this time by the Bar Association. Since there are 15 freaking candidates, I think we can safely rule these guys out. (Unless you have some particular reason for liking one of them, in which case comment away and let me know!)
Both Joe Luvara and Jenifer Satler were deemed unqualified by the Bar Assoc., so... yeah.
My final ticket will probably look something like this: Joe Williams, Leah Williams-Duncan, Hugh McGough,
And if I missed someone, I'm very very sorry, and feel free to point it out. I'll remind you again: 15 candidates! Intensity!