Wolf nominates Elliot Howsie to be Common Pleas judge | TribLIVE.com

Wolf nominates Elliot Howsie to be Common Pleas judge

Paul Guggenheimer
Elliot Howsie, chief public defender for Allegheny County, announces his campaign for the county Court of Common Pleas in the Allegheny County Courthose grand staircase on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.

Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday nominated Allegheny County Public Defender Elliot Howsie to be a judge on the Court of Common Pleas.

If approved by the State Senate, Howsie would fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Donna Jo McDaniel in January. He also would be a candidate in the 2021 Judicial Election.

Howsie, 50, had announced in January that he was a candidate for the Allegheny County Common Pleas Court. Since learning about the governor’s nomination, the campaign filed paperwork in Harrisburg to remove his name from the 2019 primary election ballot.

“It is an honor to be selected by our governor as a qualified addition to our court system,” said Howsie. “Through my upbringing, my work experience on both sides of the courtroom, and my time in social services, I know the decisions made by judges have a generational impact on the lives of the people in our country.”

“Mr. Howsie has the incredible breadth of work and life experience for this position, and I believe he will be an invaluable addition to the bench,” said Wolf.

Citing a lack of diversity on the Allegheny County bench, Pittsburgh’s Black Political Empowerment Project earlier this month called on Wolf to appoint veteran attorney Rosemary Crawford to fill the vacancy.

In a letter to the governor, B-PEP Chairman and CEO Tim Stevens wrote: “Statewide there remains a dearth of African Americans elected to judicial seats throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Ms. Crawford is an African American who would be a very qualified jurist and a fair and impartial jurist.”

Howsie is black. A call to Stevens was not immediately returned.

Paul Guggenheimer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-226-7706 or [email protected].

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