Statewide Judicial Candidates
All candidates listed have been endorsed by the Delco Democratic Party
Bryan Neft was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986 and a J.D. from the Boston University School of Law in 1989. Neft’s career experience includes working as an attorney and litigator in general practice, specializing in complex commercial litigation and product liability litigation.
Running in Contested Primary for Open Seat
Judge Matthew Wolf
Judge Matt Wolf is the Supervising Civil Judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court. As Supervising Judge, he guided the court through the pandemic, he started the heralded eviction diversion program, and he has focused the court on equity and access to justice.
A member of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas since 2016, Judge Spurgeon is assigned to the Family Division. He was named a Judicial Fellow by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and is regarded as a national expert on domestic violence. He currently serves as the Chair of the Family Violence Work Group for the 5th Judicial District, regularly serves as a panelist on forums addressing intimate partner violence, and recently appeared as an expert guest on Court TV discussing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on family violence. In 1998, after two years in private practice, Spurgeon joined the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney and remained until 2016. Through his work in the D.A.’s Domestic Violence Trial Unit, he implemented the first Intimate Partner Violence Homicide Review Team, was the Allegheny County Coordinator for the STOP grant under the Violence Against Women Act and co-chair of the DV Task Force. He became a certified police instructor at the Allegheny County and City of Pittsburgh Police Academies, assisted in the creation of Veterans’ Court and supervised the attorneys assigned to Mental Health Court. A graduate of McKeesport Area Senior High School, Judge Spurgeon graduated cum laude from Duquesne University in 1993 with a BA degree in Political Science and German. He received his law degree in 1996 from the Duquesne University School of Law and is currently an adjunct professor at Duquesne University School of Law.
Judge Lori Dumas has served on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas for over 18 years. Currently assigned to the Civil Division, she has also presided in the Criminal Division. But Judge Dumas spent most of her years on the bench in the Philadelphia Family Court – Juvenile Division. Growing out of her service in Family Court, Dumas was a leader in creating the First Judicial District’s Juvenile Human Trafficking Court.
Both in her courtroom and in the community, Dumas has been an educator and advocate on juvenile human trafficking and the trauma it creates for children. She is the local chair of a national non-violence program focused on helping exploited, traumatized youth, has been active with the Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and is a member of the National Campaign to Stop Violence.
After growing up in Philadelphia, Judge Dumas earned a BA degree in Sociology at Duke University and her J.D. degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law. She is also a graduate of the Fels Institute of Government at PENN. She has taught law courses at several local institutions.
Judge Tamika Lane
Judge Lane is currently serving as a judge in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Prior to her election, she worked as a certified legal intern for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, a certified child advocate for the Center for Child Advocacy, a judicial law clerk for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, an assistant public defender for the Philadelphia Defender Association of Philadelphia, and the chief legal counsel for Pennsylvania Sen. Anthony Hardy.
Judge Dugan has served 15 years on the Philadelphia Municipal Bench, since being appointed in 2007 by Governor Ed Rendell. His meritorious service to the court earned the respect of his peers and Dugan was elected President Judge in 2019.
Jill began her legal career working as an attorney at KidsVoice where she represented abused, neglected and at risk children in Allegheny County before Magisterial District Judges and in Juvenile Court, Orphans’ Court, and the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. In 2010, Jill accepted a position with the Honorable Christine Donohue of the Pennsylvania Superior Court, and remained a law clerk in her chambers following Justice Donohue’s election to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2015. Jill currently works as an attorney for Blank Rome in the litigation group.
Supreme Court: Maria McLaughlin
In 2017, Judge McLaughlin was elected to a seat on the PA Superior Court by defeating a slate of nine candidates for the statewide position. Prior to her election to PA Superior Court, McLaughlin served as a judge on Philadelphia County’s Court of Common Pleas from 2011 to 2017. For nearly two decades before becoming a judge, McLaughlin served in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office. Within the D.A.’s office she rose to the position of Chief District Attorney in 2002, making her the youngest female Chief in the city’s history. Judge McLaughlin grew up in the Overbrook section of West Philadelphia. She received her undergraduate degree from Penn State University and her law degree from Widener University School of Law. She then clerked for the President Judge of the Pennsylvania Superior Court, where she now sits on the bench. In her role as a Superior Court judge, McLaughlin currently serves as liaison between the court and the Pennsylvania Bar Association, a role that has proved critical throughout the COVID pandemic.