Share This Page

Late surge puts McVay in battle for judgeship

| Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 11:52 p.m.

Pennsylvania's only contested, statewide election this fall will pit an Allegheny County judge who spent the past six years deciding family court cases against a Harrisburg attorney with 30 years of civil litigation experience.

Common Pleas Judge Jack McVay Jr. of Shadyside won a quiet race for the Democratic nomination for an empty seat on Superior Court. A late tally of votes Tuesday showed he beat Philadelphia Municipal Judge Joseph C. Waters Jr., 55 percent to 45 percent.

“He waged a vigorous and positive campaign, and the people of Pennsylvania are better for it,” McVay, 56, said about Waters, who had the party endorsement.

Attorney Vic Stabile, 55, of Carlisle ran unopposed for the Republican nomination.

“I'm hoping that I can add to and improve the system of justice in Pennsylvania at the appellate level,” said Stabile, a partner at Dilworth Paxson in Harrisburg.

The 15-member Superior Court hears appeals of civil, criminal, family and orphans' court decisions.

The candidates stressed different experiences to show they're most qualified for the job.

McVay, a licensed pharmacist, worked in the county Housing Authority and city and county law departments before his election to the bench in 2007.

“I believe my judicial trial experience sets me apart,” he said. “The Superior Court reviews whether the trial court properly exercised its discretion. I have exercised that discretion countless times.”

Stabile, a township supervisor and Republican committeeman, started as an appellate clerk in Commonwealth Court and defended state agencies at the attorney general's office before joining Dilworth Paxson in 1987.

“I have represented individuals, I've represented various government entities and Fortune 500 corporations,” he said. “If you look at the areas in which the court has jurisdiction, I probably have the most experience in the greatest amount of areas.”

The state bar association rated both candidates as “recommended.”

The Superior Court seat became open when now-Senior Judge John Musmanno reached mandatory retirement age of 70. Judges face a retention vote every 10 years and this year are paid $188,337. Two Superior Court judges and two Supreme Court justices will be up for retention votes in November.

David Conti is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5802 or dconti@tribweb.com.

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.