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Supreme Court Candidates Reveal First Quarter Fundraising Totals

PA Supreme CourtIn Pennsylvania’s State Supreme Court race, the stakes are high and the cash is flowing.

Candidates are readying their war chests to compete for a shot at one of the three seats open on the bench this cycle, and according to Adam Brandolph and Melissa Daniels of the Tribune-Review, first quarter finance reports show three candidates with more than $500,000 on hand.

Front-running Democratic candidate and Philadelphia Judge Kevin Dougherty leads in funds with $585,000, but he’s trailed closely by another strong Democratic contender — Superior Court Judge David Wecht — who has raised $546,000 through March 30. Both Dougherty and Wecht boast the advantage of a number of endorsements, including that of the state’s Democratic Party and of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.

The top Republican fundraiser followed closely behind Wecht as Adams County Court Judge Michael George reported $508,000 in the bank.

Though none of the other candidates ranked close to the top three fundraisers, three Democratic candidates were competitive, each collecting sums into the six figures. Jefferson County Court of Common Pleas Judge John Foradora disclosed around $350,000 in finances, Superior Court Judge Anne Lazarus has $262,000 on hand, and Superior Court Judge Christine Donohue reported $166,000.

Like Dougherty and Wecht, Donohue, who fell just short of the two-thirds vote needed to secure the official Democratic Party endorsement, also benefits from the AFL-CIO endorsement.

Despite the strong fundraising powers of some candidates, other contenders raised far less in the first quarter. Republican Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey has $37,000 on hand, and her fellow Republican contender, Superior Court Judge Cheryl Lynn Allen, reported just $5,000. Another Republican candidate, Superior Court Judge Judy Olson, did not even break $1,000, according to her report.

One candidate, though, was proud of his lower fundraising total. Republican Supreme Court Justice Correale Stevens, who is running to retain his seat on the bench, reported $44,000 in campaign funds.

“I’m going to try to raise enough money to be competitive, but not enough money that’s going to cause ethical problems or perception problems,” Stevens told Brandolph and Daniels.

The last of the six Democratic candidates, Allegheny County Judge and former Steelers’ player Dwayne Woodruff, reported $33,000 in the bank. Numbers were not available for Republican candidate and Montour County District Attorney Rebecca Warren.

7 Responses

  1. “Judge” Donahue is a woman of extremely poor character. VOTE HER OUT OF OFFICE! Thank you.


    Judge Christine Donahue must be sent a message that her blissful ignorance will not be tolerated. The woman is highly dishonest and ignorant of the issues in Pennsylvania. She lied in one opinion that I know of. One lie by a judge indicates many past, present and future lies. Christine brags about her parents being a coal miner and a seamstress. This paints her parents in a bad way by associating her disgraceful conduct and name with theirs. She allows attorneys to lie in her courtroom by failing to read court orders by common pleas judges in the cases and appeals that she hears in her “court”. She also boasts that she ended bias of LGBT parents in custody cases but the truth is that she ignores the traditional and widespread bias for heterosexual men involving custody cases in Pennsylvania. That is factual unarguable child abuse by a jurist. This “jurist” protects judges reported for judicial misconduct, intentionally failing to restore credibility in the PA supreme court. She rode a political farce into a black robe supported by jurists and bar associations trusting that she was a team player and would lie cheat and steal to protect dirty judges, lawyers, big business, and likely organized crime. Vote no for Christine Donahue in both superior and supreme court elections. This is a person with an evil soul that surely hasn’t earned her respect or the trust of Pennsylvania citizens. PLEASE VOTE A BIG NO FOR DISHONEST BIGOTS LIKE DONAHUE. THANKS!

  3. This article is reporting what’s “on hand” — not what was raised and spent over the period. And Wecht and Daugherty both come from very prominent political families. There’s where I’d be on the lookout for judges likely to be engaged in the practice of returning favors from the bench. With that kind of money, there’s no question they owe someone — or perhaps many people — quite a bit in return. It’s why I hate judicial elections. We want judges to be fair and impartial, but in every other way our system expects them to participate in politics in order to rise. PA is nuts.

  4. Based on these numbers, look for Foradora to be a surprise.

    Woodruff should be able to raise more than that from former Steelers teammates in an afternoon. What’s going on there?

    The fundraising of Olsen, Covey and Allen is bizarre given they have run statewide campaigns before. They need to carpool to events because none of them can afford to put gas in the car.

  5. Who is funding Wecht and Dougherty? That money = a lot of favors. Wonder who they are going to cater to if elected? My votes are going to Woodruff and Donohue.

  6. Woodruff has 29k in the bank according to his actual report. Plus he owes like 21k to what looks like his staff. That’s discomforting.

  7. “I’m going to try to raise enough money to be competitive, but not enough money that’s going to cause ethical problems or perception problems,” Stevens told Brandolph and Daniels.

    The second part of that statement is true. The first part of that statement is laughably false.

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