The Lead

Dan McCaffery wins Democratic primary for Pa. Supreme Court

By: - May 16, 2023 10:18 pm

The Pennsylvania Judicial Center in Harrisburg (Capital-Star file)

(*This story was updated at 11:43 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, to include new reporting)

Democrat Dan McCaffery has won the primary for Pennsylvania Supreme Court, putting him on track for the fall campaign to fill the vacancy created by Chief Justice Max Baer’s death last year. 

The Associated Press called the race for McCaffery shortly after 9 p.m.

The state’s highest court hears appeals in cases involving unsettled areas of the law, reviews all death penalty convictions, and has played the decisive role in redrawing Pennsylvania’s congressional districts in recent years. Justices elected as Democrats currently hold a 4-2 majority on the court, according to the Associated Press.

Unofficial tallies showed McCaffery, a judge of the state Superior Court since 2020, defeating fellow Superior Court Judge Deborah Kunselman 57.8% to 42.1%. 

In the race for the *Republican nomination, unofficial tallies showed Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Carolyn T. Carluccio defeating Commonwealth Court Judge Patricia A. McCullough. The Associated Press called the race for Carluccio around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday night. 

Voters also were being asked to choose candidates for Pennsylvania’s lower level appellate courts: The state Superior and Commonwealth courts.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

John L. Micek
John L. Micek

A 3-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning political reporter, Micek’s career has taken him from small town meetings and Chicago City Hall to Congress and the Pennsylvania Capitol. His weekly column on U.S. politics is syndicated to 800 newspapers nationwide by Cagle Syndicate. He also contributes commentary and analysis to broadcast outlets in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Micek’s first novel, “Ordinary Angels,” was released in 2019 by Sunbury Press.