Stedman Concedes Superior Court Race, Calls for Changes in Appellate Court Process

Lancaster District Attorney Craig Stedman announced today he would not call for a statewide recount, clearing the way for fellow Republican Judge Mary Murray to win the last remaining seat on the Superior Court.  Stedman also called for the legislature to examine the way the state selects appellate court judges.

“Even though this race is extremely close, and many have encouraged me to allow the mandatory recount, I simply cannot justify costing the taxpayers $500,000+,” Stedman said in a statement.  

The decision by Stedman means that Murray will join Democratic Judges Maria McLaughlin, Debbie Kunselman, and Carolyn Nichols as the winners this year.  Murray’s win also means that of the seven statewide elections that took place last week, women won all seven.  

Stedman’s statement also called into question the way appellate judges are selected in Pennsylvania.  

“Now that I have gone through the process, I am concerned that qualifications for the appellate courts, which should matter most, will continue to be at risk of being marginalized.  Thus, I urge the legislature to use this as an opportunity to take a hard look at improving the way the state selects our appellate judges,” Stedman said.

19 Responses

  1. Livin in the Northeast, you apparently didn’t see! He dropped the ball on several animal cruelty cases then tried to cover it up with the dog ad. He lost a lot of votes because of this…apparently enough to lose the election. I agree, he should not have been in the race at all. Shame on the GOP for endorsing him.

  2. Qualifications?? Stedman has absolutely no civil experience. The Superior Court hears at least 40% civil cases. He should not have been in this race in the first place!!

  3. 2 suggestions:
    1) find a way to make sure a Not Recommended from the Bar means the candidate can’t run–each party had one of those on the ballot.
    2) enforce judicial ethics rules: Murray ran on anti-choice, explicitly stated on the GOP website.

    1. The Bar Association (not the Bar) is a trade association for the professionals who appear before the judges they “evaluate”. Their process is also essentially flawed, as it eliminates from consideration anyone who decides to run after their very early process (beginning of January) takes place. Because I decided to run on January 28th, the Bar Association would not even interview me, let alone look at any of my qualifications, before they rated me “Not Recommended.” If you want the people with special interests (i.e. attorneys) who appear in front of the judges to be able to choose who can run and who cannot, we can do away with any pretense of merit selection and just enter the realm of special interest selection.

  4. Now is the time for the system to change. Lets see, vast majority of members of General Assembly are men. Leadership are men. Democratic and GOP State Committee Chairs are middle aged men. Governor and Lt. Governor are men. And women win all the Court seats this year. So time to change the rules because we may never see another male win an election to the higher courts. By the way, this losing candidate is not the first one to call for a change in the process after a loss.

  5. No kidding. What a process. I felt sorry for those people running all over the state and having to raise the money. Not that all of them did it. But I thought Stedman had the best digital ad of all. The one with a dog. I thought he would win based on that, but not even that could get a GOP Male elected. Mr.Stedman, you need to go to your party leadership to get them to change the game.

    1. No he is simply pointing out the people of the state elected an individual who would not go through the process to be recommended by the BAR Association (aka her peers) because she was about as qualified as a telephone book. If being an MDJ is a qualification to be an appellate judge then why should a judge even have to be a lawyer… hell lets make it so anyone can become a judge. Qualification should matter and this process points out a failure in our system.

      1. If you don’t go before the PA Bar Association rating that should disqualify you from running for appellate court. Simple

        1. I disagree guys. The BAR Association is nothing more than a special interest group that can be easily influenced. The chair, Harold Morris, is a joke. If they don’t like you, you’re out. The people who are selected for the panel are hand picked by politicians (i.e. Congressman Marino’s wife!) Stedman should not have received such a high rating because he only has prosecutorial experience, no civil experience. He is a good prosecutor, but he needed to be more well rounded in civil law, in my opinion.

      2. I’m not unsympathetic to that argument. I just don’t really have any sympathy for losers who cry about the rules after they lost.

      3. Apparently you do not understand what a MDJ does, also Judge Bender was a MDJ and has had a long career on Superior Court and was elected under the same circumstances.

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