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Newcomer Mik Pappas Unseats 24-Year Magisterial District Judge

Liz Reid
90.5 WESA
Mik Pappas campaigns outside Sunnyside PreK-8 school in Stanton Heights on Tuesday, November 8, 2017.

Attorney Mik Pappas, who ran as an Independent, won Pennsylvania’s 31st Magisterial District race, unseating the incumbent who held the position for 24 years.

It was the first time in more than two decades that Ron Costa, Sr. faced an opponent.

Pappas was endorsed by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and said that Donald Trump’s victory in last year’s presidential election energized his supporters.

After his win Tuesday night, Pappas said he feels grateful and encouraged by the direction that Pittsburgh is headed in.

“I attribute (this win) to... the incredible energy that’s out there in support of transforming politics locally to a politics that is centered on finding solutions to those crises that exist at the neighborhood level,” he said.

While magisterial district courts are at the bottom of Pennsylvania’s judicial hierarchy, Pappas said they’re the best way to address issues at the neighborhood level.

“Opioid addiction, intimate partner violence, truancy, young people not going to school, and of course housing, landlord-tenant matters, people getting evicted, they all converge on this office just begging and looking for a solution, and it’s the best opportunity that we have through this office to actually provide that solution,” he said.

Pappas will be sworn in as magisterial district judge serving Upper Lawrenceville, Stanton Heights, Morningside, Highland Park, East Liberty, Garfield, Bloomfield and Friendship in January.

90.5 WESA's An-Li Herring, Liz Reid and Sarah Kovash contributed to this story.