He’ll face attorney Vic Stabile, the 2011 Republican candidate for the office, and a former chair of the Cumberland County GOP.
Wyda hasn’t attended the circuit of regional GOP state committee caucus meetings typical for statewide candidates; Stabile has won each time. Wyda put his name forward in the southwest caucus, but Stabile won the straw poll on the first ballot.
Each party’s endorsement carries more weight in a primary races for a low key office like Superior Court. The GOP state committee endorsed candidate has won about 80% of campaigns in the past decade. Stabile is a heavy favorite for the nod; it’s not clear whether Wyda would persist if the PAGOP endorses against him.
On the Democratic side, Philadelphia Municipal Judge Joe Waters will square off against Allegheny County attorney Michael Wojcik for the nomination.
Both parties hold their state committee endorsement meetings this weekend. Sitting Judge John Musmanno reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 last year and his seat is vacant.
It’s the only statewide campaign in Pa. in 2013. Since candidates rarely have resources to advertise themselves, such races tend to be a good bellwether for the state of the state, politically (e.g. Dems had a great year in 2007, the GOP did great in 2009).
His campaign announcement was sent by Sue Means, a conservative GOP activist who ran for state Senate last year in Allegheny County:
A 1985 graduate of Duquesne Law School, Wyda has been entrusted with one of the largest magisterial districts in Pennsylvania, adjudicating about 4,000 cases a year. Before his election as judge in 1999, he served Allegheny County as a prosecuting attorney, court administrator, and assistant county solicitor. He was reelected judge without opposition in 2005 and 2011.
Wyda carries the rare distinction of having served in three antiterrorist theatres with the Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps. Between 2003 and 2008 he fulfilled assignments in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. “I take great pride and satisfaction in knowing that I have contributed directly to the prosecution and conviction of our nation’s enemies,” Wyda said.
Wyda will be seeking endorsement from the Republican State Committee this weekend.
Wyda and his wife, Shannon, have lived in Bethel Park throughout their 25-year marriage. They have two children, age 18 and 21.