This is the statewide appellate court for criminal and civil cases appealed from the Courts of Common Pleas. Fourteen judges sit on this court. Six Republican judges and 4 Democratic judges are not up for election. A victory by 3 of the 4 Democratic-supported candidates would give Democrats a majority on this key court.
Debbie Kunselman became the first woman on the Court of Common Pleas in Beaver County when she was elected in 2005. She had served for eight years as the Solicitor for Beaver County, achieving notable success in equal pay, age discrimination, and required overtime cases on behalf of teachers, county workers, and healthcare industry workers. Read more on Kunselman
Maria McLaughlin is currently a judge in the First District Court of Common Pleas and presides over both family law and criminal law matters. She served in the Philadelphia District
Attorney’s Office for 19 years and was Chief Assistant District Attorney of the Child Support Enforcement Unit. Read more on McLaughlin
Geoff Moulton is running to retain his seat on the court. He was appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf in 2016 and unanimously confirmed by the Senate. As a federal prosecutor, he directed two major investigations – the ATF raid on the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, Texas, and the Jerry Sandusky criminal case for the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. Read more on Moulton
Carolyn Nichols has served on the First District Court of Common Pleas since 2011, where she presides in the court's Criminal Trial Division of Major Trials. Prior to her election to the bench, Nichols held positions in Philadelphia city government and was recognized for her work as Deputy Finance Director with the Guardian of Economic Inclusion Award. As a lawyer, Nichols was co-counsel for a successful 2009 lawsuit against a suburban Philadelphia swim club that denied minority children access to its facility. Read more on Nichols