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Primary 2013: 4 for Common Pleas

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Monday, May 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Thirteen candidates are seeking nominations in next Tuesday's primary election for four seats on Allegheny County Common Pleas Court. All of the candidates are cross-filed. We recommend the following four:

• Impeccable. That's the best word to describe the credentials of Bill Ward, 61, of Mt. Lebanon. He's Gov. Tom Corbett's former chief of staff and has extensive legal experience over more than 30 years, from an assistant U.S. attorney to the state Attorney General's Office. Mr. Ward was appointed to a vacant bench slot last year. He deserves election in his own right.

• The perfect temperament. That's the best phrase to describe P.J. Murray, 51, of Upper St. Clair. A quiet and humble man, his mantra during his 23-year legal career — much of it representing small and mid-sized businesses — is “Be prepared, know the law and be respectful.” Mr. Murray's philosophy is one that would serve the people and the court system well.

• Life's work. That's what Rosemary Crawford, 49, of Hampton, hopes to get on with. She says she knew she wanted to be a judge beginning at age 6. And she's certainly laid the groundwork for her chosen profession — a 23-year legal veteran known for tackling complex civil litigation. “Respect” is her byword, a perfect trait for the bench.

• Fair. That's the byword of Marcia Cooper, 51, of O'Hara. She's another well-rounded civil litigator. Ms. Cooper knows that the wheels of justice often move slowly and she'd like to make the Civil Division more efficient. That's an admirable goal to which we hope this 23-year legal scholar can contribute.

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