Reader Poll: Who Should the Democrats Nominate for Commonwealth Court?

seal_commonwealth - 001469The Democratic Party has seven candidates running for the Commonwealth Court, but only two will be on the ballot in the Fall.  

At its Winter Meeting, the Democratic Party endorsed Todd Eagen on the first ballot, but failed to endorse for the second spot on the second ballot that only included Judge Ellen Ceisler, and Judge Joe Cosgrove.  

The other candidates running are Timothy Barry, Rep. Bryan Barbin, Irene Clark, and James Crumlish.

So the for you readers is this: who should the Democrats nominate for the Commonwealth Court?

Who Should the Democrats Nominate for Commonwealth Court? (Pick 2)


  • Todd Eagen (35%)
  • Judge Joe Cosgrove (33%)
  • Judge Ellen Ceisler (18%)
  • Rep. Bryan Barbin (6%)
  • James Crumlish (3%)
  • Timothy Barry (3%)
  • Irene Clark (2%)

Total Voters: 1,221

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February 14th, 2017 | Posted in Front Page Stories | 43 Comments

43 thoughts on “Reader Poll: Who Should the Democrats Nominate for Commonwealth Court?”

  1. I'M WITH EAGEN says:

    I think we need to support and elect Todd Eagen in May and in November. He is a great man, great attorney and will fight for what is right and will not be unethical or play the part politics. These are the reasons I support him. That being said I also think another Democrat needs to be elected. There is only one Democrat on that court now, that’s def. not fair or balanced.

  2. Rhonda says:

    We have a tremendous field of candidates for Commonwealth Court on the Democratic side this year. Lots of highly qualified attorneys and judges from all over the state. If we appointed candidates, it would be a hard choice given their records but we don’t appoint in PA, we elect. Therefore, we must nominate in May the two candidates that are the best campaigners, the best “people” persons. Without a doubt, Todd Eagen should be the first on that list. After that I’m torn but I believe we must stand behind our governor and add Judge Joe Cosgrove to our ticket. Who has greater credentials to be a Commonwealth Court judge than a sitting Commonwealth Court judge? Really Pennsylvania Democrats, this should be an easy one for us to decide in the primary.

  3. Zakrey Bissell says:

    I think for they should nominate Tim and Todd because they both will win easily in the primary and the general election.

  4. Chuckie Porter the rat says:

    Thank you. I accept. Make the Commonwealth grate again.

  5. Perez Hilton says:

    Chucky porter

  6. Obvious says:

    Oh wow, a politicspa reader poll, this is definitely news and is going to inform the people who read this article. Or not and it is garbage to generate clicks?

  7. Steve says:

    Judge Cosgrove is a judge of impeccable character, fair judicial temperament, and a wealth of experience who deserves to be elected to a full ten-year term.

  8. doggy style says:

    Anybody but corrupt Cynthia Baldwin.

  9. Gina Zanolini Morrison says:

    Judge Cosgrove is a man we can trust. I have known him as a fellow community member for years, and he has my confidence 100%.

  10. I'M WITH EAGEN says:

    Democrats: ask your friends, neighbors, family and fellow Democrats to give Eagen one of their votes, since they get to vote for two in May. Eagen works hard, but has worked hard and will continue to work hard to earn your vote. Since the first day I met him, I trusted he would be a fair and ethical judge.

  11. Jared P. says:

    Also, for what it’s worth… this poll completely neglects the fact that the two Pittsburgh candidates will have an automatic leg up in the voting. Even though Clark and Barry are trailing, they very well may win just based on geography… kind of sad.

  12. Jared P. says:

    Whoops, meant @Steven Todd

  13. Chuckie Porter the rat says:

    billy caye

  14. Al Flora says:

    Joe Cosgrove is by far the most qualified candidate. He is a man of great integrity and independence. I have worked with Joe for many years. His passion for the law is unmatched. He would be a great judge.

  15. StevenTodd says:

    Alex Reber is one of my hardest working and most open minded fellow members of the Dauphin County Democratic Committee. I was already a lock for Eagen, for the reason he cites below. But I only selected Eagen in the poll, as I know nothing about any of the others. Reber’s endorsement will go far to gaining my support for Cosgrove, as we often (not always) support the same candidates.

    If Barbin is indeed anti-choice, as stated by the unsigned source below, that will be a HUGE strike against winning a Democratic primary, or darned well better be. I do not know that to be true or not.

    I could not care less where in PA the judges are from, and that will not factor into my choice. While I always give a nod toward increasing women in leadership and will do so here, it is never the deciding factor for me, and won’t be here.

  16. at the Centre says:

    It was no secret within the vetting committee that there was more judicial and political talent in the cComminwealth pool. In fact, there was hope at least one could be moved over to Superior, but that did not occur. The reason commonwealth is the competitive race this year is because all the action that will affect Pennsylvanians in this age of trump and Wagner will land in this court. Democrats better have their act together to nominate the duo that have the best chance in November. The GOP dominates this court and the clawing back must start now. Your poll is a nice idea to highlight an office which never got much attention, but the stakes are high and thiis is more than a game. It is about winning.

  17. Why Todd Eagen... says:

    I think Todd is one who has stood up for workers, women and disabled for his entire career. PA Democratic Committee agreed and endorsed him, only him! May I add, the vote count was almost unanimous …
    There is not a harder working family man than Todd. His respect for the law and understanding of how important the judiciary is within these perilous times makes him top of a very short list. The race isn’t about where someone is from, what sex they may be, or how to define a “balanced ticket,” it’s about how a professional can be good for the court. His heart is full of energy and the want to serve – that makes him my choice and I will advocate this until November (he will win the primary).

  18. easy pick says:

    Go with the 2 judges.

  19. balance? says:

    There are already enough Philadelphia judges on the statewide ticket (McLaughlin and Nichols)

  20. balance? says:

    The ENTIRE Democratic ticket IS balanced. There are 2 African Americans. There are 3 women. There are candidates from Allegheny, Beaver, Lackawanna, Montgomery and Philadelphia. Given that there is a shortage of judges on any of these courts from anywhere other than Philadelphia and Allegheny, the second Commonwealth slot should go to Cosgrove from Luzerne.

  21. I'M WITH EAGEN says:

    This poll is not a scientific or accurate poll, since you could vote more then once and Republicans could vote.
    What I do like is the Eagen supporters an people know this is a good man, experienced man and the right man.

  22. L.D.M. says:

    Judge Ellen Ceisler. We need a woman on the bench with experience.

  23. L.D.M. says:

    Judge Ellen Ceisler.

  24. Mike Gerrity says:

    The nominations are over and Todd Eagen was state committees choice. He is the hardest working candidate and in May I’m sure the people will vote that way also. There’s no do overs!

  25. DAVID says:

    I don’t think there’s any question there needs to be at least one woman on the ticket. I don’t always believe that diversity is the best or most effective course, but it’s very clear that in the case of judges the more diversity the better. I give my choice to Judge Ceisler.

  26. Patrick says:

    Seth Williams.

  27. Rob says:

    For those talking about diversity – gender, geography, etc. – Look at the entire Democratic ticket – three women on the Superior Court bench (one of which is a minority) and another minority on the Supreme Court bench. Do we really need it on every bench or the entire ticket? Allegheny Co, Beaver Co, Philadelphia Co. and Montgomery Co. represented. Two from above I-80 up in the T in Commonwealth isn’t a bad thing. And in PA, these judges are ELECTED, not appointed. If we want to get Dem’s on the bench, we must nominate good campaigners in addition to being qualified.

  28. PA Proud 1993 says:

    Its funny that people are saying we need balance, and are fighting for both Eagen and Cosgrove…but they are both from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Also, we forget that the best judges aren’t politicians…they are judges. This race is so important…I still really like Eagen and Ceisler.

  29. Jim Gilmartin says:

    Joe Cosgrove is the most qualified candidate. If not, why would Governor Wolf name him to the Commonwealth Court?

  30. Jared P. says:

    How about some geographical and gender diversity? I like Eagen and Ceisler. I also wouldn’t mind Barry. I haven’t seen Cosgrove anywhere… Clark wasn’t recommended which is tough. Barbin is Pro-Life.

  31. PSUGirl54 says:

    There needs to be balance in the Commonwealth Court. It doesn’t matter what part of the state the judges come from — all that matters is that they are qualified, have experience ruling on the tough issues and will be a champion for justice. Judge Ceisler will add much needed balance to the bench. She is qualified and experienced. Now more than ever we need a woman on the bench!

  32. Ryan says:

    Todd Eagen is an excellent choice. A man who understands the voice of the people and brings years of hard earned experience to the table. Vote Eagen.

  33. Alex Reber says:

    Todd Eagen is one of the hardest working candidates I have ever met. When he barely lost the primary in 2015 for Commonwealth Court, he traveled the state campaigning for the entire Democratic ticket, including the person that beat him in the primary. He campaigned across PA in 2016 for our Democratic candidates. He’s a smart lawyer with integrity and deserves to be our nominee in 2017. He is recommended by the PA Bar Association.

    Judge Joe Cosgrove also deserves our support. He was appointed by Governor Wolf after a through vetting and was unanimously approved by the PA Senate. He is highly recommended by the PA Bar Association.

  34. allegheny voter says:

    judge ellen ceisler would be a good choice,also todd eagan that would be a balanced ticket,and that is coming from a voter in allegheny county.

  35. I'M WITH EAGEN says:

    Eagen deserves to be in the race, He works hard for the people. He also goes all around the state talking with the voters. I been many places and haven’t seen Cosgrove yet. Cosgrove also didn’t earn that seat and the voters didn’t put him there. I also think everyone has a right to run. Maybe you should go Eagen and Cosgrove and not always people from Pitts. or philly

  36. NEPA Proud says:

    This should be an easy decision: We need a woman on the ticket! Let’s go Judge Ceisler!

  37. Montco Mom says:

    We need at least one woman on this ticket!

  38. Nepadems says:

    Cosgrove for Judge!!! Eager shouldn’t have gotten into the race. He is now jeopardizing the race for Joe Cosgrove who is the incumbent from the northeast. The Northeast vote will be split and a Philly and Pittsburgh candidate will win. Good job todd.

  39. I'M WITH EAGEN says:

    I’m voting Eagen, he is a good fair man. He will follow the law and look out for the people. He deserves this more then anyone else on that list. Join me and vote Eagen.

  40. Taber sadiq says:

    I did some research on judge Todd, no doubt he fits perfectly n will hold the constitution regardless of which party he belongs to

  41. Answer Desk says:

    Irene Clark is not a judge. She was a Pittsburgh city magistrate. Those positions were eliminated in 2004.

    1. Paul Engelkemier says:

      Thank you for the heads up, the poll and article have been updated to reflect that Clark is not currently a Judge.

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