The Lead

McCaffery, King win seats on Pa. Superior Court as Democrat Green-Hawkins concedes

By: - November 13, 2019 3:40 pm

Dan McCaffery, left, and Megan King, right, won spots on the Superior Court bench. (Photos courtesy of candidate’s Facebooks)

Democratic Superior Court candidate Amanda Green-Hawkins officially conceded Wednesday, eight days after an election whose result led to a split decision to fill two judgeships on the busy appellate panel. 

Green-Hawkins, a former United Steelworkers attorney and Allegheny County Councilor, came in a close third among four candidates to fill two open spots on the Superior Court. The court handles the bulk of Pennsylvania’s legal appeals in criminal and civil cases.

Democrat Dan McCaffery, a Philadelphia Common Pleas judge and former prosecutor, was the leading vote-getter, taking 1,267,066 votes — or 25.84 percent of the total votes, according to unofficial results on the Department of State website.

Republican Megan King, a Chester County prosecutor, came in second with 1,246,154 votes, just .42 percent less than McCaffrey, unofficial tallies showed.

Green-Hawkins finished with 1,229,202 votes. The nearly 17,000-vote difference between her and King was within range for Green-Hawkins to ask for a recount, but her campaign decided against the procedure.

According to state election law, the secretary may order a recount if “a candidate for a public office which appears on the ballot in every election district in this Commonwealth was defeated by one-half of a percent or less of the votes cast for the office.”

The margin was .35 percent of the votes casts, but Green-Hawkins’ campaign concluded Wednesday that “a recount will not change the outcome, and I won’t move forward, after reviewing an insurmountable number of votes in [King’s] favor,” according to a press release.

The last place finisher was Republican Christylee Peck, a Cumberland County Common Pleas judge. She finished with 1,160,672 votes — or 23.67 percent.

Green-Hawkins was the only candidate not recommended by the state bar association among the four judges standing for election. In the last decade, candidates without the bar’s recommendation have not fared well.

The partisan split of the Superior Court does not change. Of 15 judges, eight were elected as Republicans and seven were elected as Democrats.

Along with the Commonwealth Court, which handles lawsuits against the state, the Superior Court’s rulings can only be overturned by the state Supreme Court.

This story was updated to accurately reflect the number of Superior Court judges.

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Stephen Caruso
Stephen Caruso

Stephen Caruso is a former senior reporter with Pennsylvania Capital-Star. Before working with the Capital-Star he covered Pennsylvania state government for The PLS Reporter.