Periodically, the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee will hold an endorsement vote before the May primary. The purpose of this vote is to see where the elected leaders of the Democratic Party stand and to put the weight of the Democratic Party behind a candidate going into the primary election.
Understandably, some Democrats believe that this stifles the voices of voters and artificially tips the scales in favor of better connected candidates, or even worse, props up a candidate who does not have a realistic chance of winning in November’s general election.
Let me start off by asserting that I believe the endorsement process is whole-heartedly fair and should be embraced by every county committee chair and state committeeperson in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Any motion to not endorse is inappropriate and leads to confusion amongst our base of supporters. It makes us look wishy-washy and as if we have something to hide.
A two-thirds majority is required to secure the Pennsylvania Democratic Party’s endorsement. This means that the party is basically behind a single individual candidate, and there are enough of the various factions of the Democratic Party behind one candidate that all factions are essentially pleased.
This vote is not some first-past-the-post nonsense where a minority of the party gets to slip in a fringe candidate to suite their wishes. 66% of devoted, engaged, thoughtful Democratic Party county chairs and state committeepeople must agree.
Otherwise, there is no endorsement.
Further, the will of the voters ultimately triumphs. Despite a candidate hypothetically having the “establishment” backing in January, the nearly 4 million Pennsylvania Democrats in the Commonwealth still have their right to vote in the May primary. If they feel that their state committeemembers or county chairs made an error in endorsement, they can simply vote, volunteer, or donate to the candidate that they feel is superior.
After the primary we rejoin as a united front to defeat the Republican nominee in November. I genuinely believe all of our Democratic candidates are good people, good candidates, and good jurists. I will personally be satisfied with whomever is endorsed and whomever is nominated.
I just happen to like several candidates a bit more than the rest.
The endorsement process for the PADems is usually very close to the will of the Democratic voters, and the PADems typically endorse the eventual nominee. If you would like to reach out to me about this important upcoming vote on January 28th, feel free to reach out to me at CCSchroy@gmail.com or (717) 417-8841.
I firmly believe these candidates are the best to represent our party in 2023 for these critical judicial races.
Supreme Court – Debbie is Ready
For the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (SCOPA), I will vote for Debbie Kunselman.
Debbie has served on the bench honorably for 17 years. Beginning her career as a civil litigator, Debbie became the first female solicitor in Beaver County history, and then the first female on the Court of Common Pleas in her county. She was elected in 2017 to the Superior Court, and can win election in 2023.
As a party, we need to emphasize that running and winning statewide is a major plus. We cannot discount this huge asset, and Debbie’s credentials pair well with her ability to run and win a good campaign.
Superior Court – The Clear Top Two
Timika Lane and Jill Beck are the best two candidates for Superior Court.
Jill has done extensive work as a civil litigator and has fought tirelessly for marginalized communities. She previously ran for the 2021 nomination for the same office and unfortunately did not win.
Timika has served honorably in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and narrowly lost a spot on the Superior Court in 2021.
With the previous statewide campaign experience from these amazing women, victory in 2023 is much more likely.
Commonwealth Court – Bryan Neft
Neft has a nearly 30 year career in law under his belt, across many county’s in Pennsylvania. He’s previously served as clerk for the President Judge Emeritus of the Superior Court and has a deep commitment to fairness, equity and giving his clients a fair shot.
Coming from a working class family, Bryan has never forgotten his roots, and that’s exactly the type of Justice we need on any bench.
Regardless of your thoughts on my endorsement vote this weekend, make sure you vote on May 16th. Our democracy requires a thriving, active, engaged electorate.
It is truly disheartening to see the voter turnout in “off-year” primary elections.
These judicial elections cannot be skipped. Important rights and liberty’s that have been hard-fought can and will be rolled back if Democrats do not show up at the ballot box in May and November.
Pay attention, get involved, vote, and help move America one step closer to that more perfect union.
Franklin County Democratic Committee