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Two candidates vie for Indiana court slot

| Sunday, May 11, 2003

Two candidates vying to become Indiana County's third judge filed expense reports on Friday.

Carol Hanna, the county's Juvenile Court master, and Michael Clark, grandson of former county District Attorney and President Judge Edwin M. Clark Sr., have cross-filed petitions and are running on both the Democratic and Republican tickets on the May 20 primary ballot.

Clark and his committee have received about $13,200 from numerous contributors, with notable names including Frank Cignetti, Indiana University of Pennsylvania's football coach; Mark Arbuckle, of Mark Arbuckle Nissan; the Friends of Don White, state senator; and Marcus & Mack, a local accounting firm.

The largest cash donation came from Edwin M. Clark III, of Great Falls, Va. However, Christine Olson, of S.W. Jack Drilling Co., donated $2,500 worth of consulting time.

Clark also received other in-kind contributions from Matthew Budash, a public defender who gave $150 in computer equipment, and Lynn Womer, who gave $288 worth of campaign jerseys.

Clark brought about $2,355 forward from his last report and has spent $6,541.95 for this reporting period.

Hanna's committee has received about $5,075 in contributions from notables like E. James Trimarchi Jr., currently running for school board, and county Solicitor James Carmella.

The committee reported $14,140.59 in unpaid debt. Hanna, as an individual, reported receiving contributions and spending that same amount. A large chunk of that cash went to West Media Group Other expenses included stamps, labels and cards for the campaign.

Hanna, of White Township, hears child dependency and juvenile probation cases as a judicial officer. She is also a staff attorney for the Domestic Relations Office and is responsible for child support enforcement.

She is a partner in a local law firm with her husband, Jack Hanna.

Clark, also of White Township, works at Holsinger, Clark & Armstrong, where his father is a partner. Clark's brother, Samuel, also works at the firm and his uncle, Alan Holsinger, is a retired partner.

Clark works as a contract attorney for Children and Youth Services and as an assistant district attorney.

The state Legislature approved in November a third Common Pleas Court judge slot for the county. Current judges, commissioners and the Bar Association in the county lobbied for the addition, citing an overburdened judicial system;

Common Pleas judges in Pennsylvania receive an annual salary of $119,413. Their salaries are paid by the state.

Counties are reimbursed up to $70,000 per judge for expenses such as office staff and administration.

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