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McClain, White win nominations for district judge

by on May 19, 2017 7:56 AM

STATE COLLEGE — In a crowded field looking to win the open magisterial district judge position in Centre County, a defense attorney and a retired police officer emerged with nominations in Tuesday’s primary.

With seven candidates all cross-filed for both parties, Casey McClain won the Democratic nomination by a wide margin, while Dave White won the more tightly contested Republican ticket for judge for district 49-02-01. The district serves Patton Township, Ferguson Township, Halfmoon Township and parts of College Township (north and west).

McClain, an assistant public defender in Centre County for the past 13 years, won 52.61 percent of the Democratic vote with 1,612 ballots cast in his favor.

“I am overwhelmed by the strong support of our community. We worked hard to inform voters of my qualifications and I think the total votes speak volumes to the efforts of so many on my behalf,” McClain told the Centre County Gazette the morning after the election. “The other candidates and their families were so great to interact with, and I’m proud to be part of such a strong slate of candidates, wonderful people, who were looking to continue to do great things for our community. We still have a long way to go to this fall, continue to earn people’s votes, and I look forward to meeting as many neighbors as possible.”

The next closest vote-getter was Kristin Scipione, who did not actively campaign, with 337 votes (11 percent). On the Democratic side White got 228 votes, which tied him for fourth with attorney Justin Bish, both 47 votes behind the third-place finisher, attorney Louis Lombardi.

White, who recently retired as State College police officer after 31 years with the department, was the top vote-getter on the Republican ticket with 21.24 percent (492 votes). He was trailed by business owner and former constable Robert Stewart, who got 18.48 percent (428 votes).

Phone calls placed to White were not immediately returned to the Centre County Gazette.

McClain was sixth in the Republican results with 252 votes.

McClain and White are both seeking the seat vacated in November 2015 by former district judge Leslie Dutchcot, who left to take a position with a private law firm. Senior Judge Ronald Horner was chosen by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts to temporarily fill the position until the next municipal election.

Horner was retired last month, and fellow District Judge Steven Lachman has been handling the office in the interim.

(Editor’s note:’s Geoff Rushton and Centre County Gazette Managing Editor G. Kerry Webster contributed to this report.) 


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