88% of polled lawyers back Dem attorney for Westmoreland judge
Attorney Bill McCabe received overwhelming support from members of the Westmoreland County Bar Association in his bid to become a county judge.
McCabe, a Democrat from North Huntingdon, was recommended by 88 percent of lawyers who participated in a bar association survey of the three candidates who are vying for one opening on the county bench in the May 21 primary.
All three candidates will appear on both the Democratic and Republican ballots.
Republican Meagan Bilik DeFazio of North Huntingdon was recommended by 36 percent of the lawyers while Republican Harry Smail Jr. of Hempfield received recommendations from 20 percent of responding attorneys.
“I'm extremely gratified and humbled by it,” McCabe said Thursday. “The group of citizens in Westmoreland County who know the most about the candidates are the lawyers, and the lawyers have sent a clear message about who they want to be judge.”
The bar association asked lawyers to rate each candidate as “recommended,” “not recommended” or to note if they had no opinion.
Smail received the highest percentage of “not recommended” responses — 58 percent. Bilik DeFazio was rated “not recommended” on 30 percent of the ballots and McCabe was not recommended by 4 percent.
Bilik DeFazio said the tallies indicate that more than half of the lawyers who had an opinion about her qualifications recommended her for the judgeship.
“People need to look beyond just trial experience. Family court needs someone with energy and passion to protect children and strengthen families,” Bilik DeFazio said.
Smail, recently elected vice president of the bar association, downplayed the survey results in a statement. He said the results were expected to be “skewed to the Democrat candidate.”
“When your first priority in a legal matter is protecting the rights of your clients, you will incite contention in the opposing counsel. As a man of principle I would rather have the recommendation of my clients than opposing lawyers, and the success of my private practice bears this out,” Smail said.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Flight 93 memorial fire hints at struggle to safeguard historic artifacts
- DEP orders cleanup of former Jeannette Glass property to resume
- The real Captain Phillips brings story of piracy to St. Vincent College
- Route 217 bridge across Loyalhanna Creek reopens early
- Southwest Greensburg man died of injuries in accident in Bell
- Missing Southwest Greensburg man found dead at crash site in Bell
- Former Ligonier Township supervisor accused of abusing position, viewing porn on the job
- Physicist found joy in family, friends, work, wine
- Laurel Mountain State Park ski plans will go to Ligonier Township supervisors
- Mt. Pleasant man injured when tractor hit by vehicle
- Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County upgrades emergency communications plan