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Republicans endorse Carolyn Carluccio for seat on Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Carolyn Kaster

Pennsylvania Republican Party officials voted Saturday to endorse a Montgomery County judge, Carolyn Carluccio, to be the party’s nominee in this year’s election for an open state Supreme Court seat.

Party committee members voting at their meeting in Hershey backed Carluccio over two other judges who had sought the endorsement.

Carluccio, the president judge of Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, beat out Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Paula Patrick and Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia McCullough of Allegheny County. Both McCullough and Patrick lost in the party’s 2021 primary for another state Supreme Court seat.

The state Democratic Party last weekend voted to endorse an appellate court judge from Philadelphia, Daniel McCaffery, for state Supreme Court. McCaffery serves on the statewide Superior Court, which handles appeals from county courts in criminal and civil cases.

The primary is May 16. The deadline to file petitions to get on the ballot is March 7, and candidates can start gathering voter signatures on Feb. 14.

The winner in November will serve a 10-year term on the state’s highest court.

Carluccio, 62, announced her candidacy in November for the party’s nomination. She was first elected to her current post in 2009 and is a former federal prosecutor and chief public defender of Montgomery County.

The seven-seat high court currently has a majority of four justices elected as Democrats and two justices elected as Republicans.

One seat is open following the death last fall of Max Baer, who was chief justice. Baer died only months before he was to reach the mandatory retirement age of 75.

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