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Election 2017: Magisterial District Judge

by on October 31, 2017 5:00 AM

StateCollege.com editor Geoff Rushton conducted interviews hosted by C-NET with candidates for several offices on local ballots in the Nov. 7 municipal election.

THE ELECTION

Democratic nominee Casey McClain and Republican nominee Dave White are on the ballot for magisterial district judge for district 49-02-01 representing Patton Township, Ferguson Township, Halfmoon Township and parts of College Township (north and west).

Former district judge Leslie Dutchcot vacated the seat in November 2015 to take a position with a private law firm. Senior District Judge Ronald Horner was chosen by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts to temporarily fill the position until the next municipal election. Horner, however, stepped down in April and Cambria County Senior District Judge Charity Nileski was temporarily appointed until after the election.

McClain and White emerged from a crowded primary field of seven cross-filed candidates for the position. McClain won 52.61 percent of the Democratic vote with 1,612 ballots cast in his favor. White was the top vote getter on the Republican ticket with 21.24 percent (492 votes)

A magisterial district judge is elected to a term of six years.

THE CANDIDATES

• Casey McClain, the Democratic candidate, has been a trial lawyer for 16 years, the last 14 as a Centre County assistant public defender. He holds a bachelor's degree from Penn State and a law degree from the University of Pittsburgh. For the past four years he has been an adjunct clinical professor with Penn State Law. As an attorney admitted to the Pennsylvania bar, McClain meets the state qualification requirements for service as a district judge.

• Dave White, the Republican candidate, retired in the spring as Master Police Officer after 31 years with the State College Police Department. He holds a bachelor's degree and a Master of Public Administration degree from Penn State, where he also has been an adjunct faculty member. White completed the Minor Judiciary Education Board training and certification required for non-attorneys to serve as district judge.

THE ISSUES

In their C-NET interviews, McClain and White discuss their backgrounds and experience; the role of a district judge; judicial philosophy; setting bail; moving from their previous positions to district judge; and dealing with complex cases.

Watch the interviews with McClain and White below.


 



Geoff Rushton is managing editor for StateCollege.com. Contact him at geoff.rushton@statecollege.com or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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