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Democrats prevail in Pa. Commonwealth, Superior court races

Matthew Santoni
| Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, 10:42 p.m.
Michael Wojcik is the Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.
Michael Wojcik is the Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.
Paul Lalley is the Republican candidate for Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.
Paul Lalley is the Republican candidate for Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.
Judge Emil Giordano is the Republican candidate for Pennsylvania Superior Court.
Judge Emil Giordano is the Republican candidate for Pennsylvania Superior Court.
Judge Alice Beck Dubow is the Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania Superior Court.
Judge Alice Beck Dubow is the Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania Superior Court.

The Democrats in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court race took center stage in Tuesday's election, but the state's two other appellate courts apparently will get new Democratic members as well.

Democrat Mike Wojcik led in the statewide race for Commonwealth Court, and Democrat Alice Beck Dubow was winning late in the evening in the race for an open seat on Pennsylvania Superior Court, with 87 percent of precincts statewide reporting. Results were unofficial.

Wojcik, 51, of Fox Chapel grew up in Somerset County and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1989. After joining forces with former Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, he was solicitor for the county controller's office and then for the county for eight years. He was most recently an attorney at the Downtown firm of Clark Hill Thorp Reed and solicitor for the Allegheny County Airport Authority.

Wojcik had 53 percent of the vote compared to Republican Paul Lalley's 47 percent. Wojcik could not be reached for comment.

Lalley, 45, of Upper St. Clair mostly represents municipalities and school districts in labor and employment cases as an attorney with Campbell Durrant Beatty Palombo & Miller, P.C., Downtown, arguing cases for schools in state and federal courts.

The nine-member Commonwealth Court handles civil cases brought by or against state government, along with appeals of cases from Pennsylvania's county Common Pleas courts that involve state and local government agencies.

In Superior Court, Dubow appeared to defeat Republican Emil Giordano for a seat on the 15-member panel, earning 54 percent of the vote. Giordano had 46 percent, according to the unofficial tally.

Dubow has been a judge on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas since 2007. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1984, she practiced commercial litigation. She was later an assistant city solicitor for Philadelphia and deputy general counsel at Drexel University.

The Superior Court handles appeals of civil and criminal cases from county courts.

Both Lalley and Giordano conceded by 10:45 p.m., said Mike Barley, a campaign consultant to both Republicans.

“It appears to be a Democratic year,” Barley said.

Matthew Santoni is a Trib Total Media staff writer. He can be reached at 412 391 0927.

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