Capitol Ideas' John Micek has a series of excellent articles concerning Panella's announcement, the judicial race landscape and the latest round of ratings from the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
In addition to his formal announcement, Panella will open his campaign headquarters in Bethlehem on the ground floor at 1 E. Broad Street, located at the intersection of New and Broad Streets. He told me today that the public is welcome to visit his HQs, and he'll try to make himself accessible to anyone who has questions. "We're the least understood branch of government," he explained.
Tomorrow, I'll detail some of Panella's many accomplishments. I learn something new every time I talk to him. Yesterday, in the course of discussing the judicial branch of government, he talked about and gave me a video explaining the different courts. When I looked at it, I discovered he wrote the narrative and conceived the idea. He also spoke of his desire to prepare a video explaining the history of Northampton County's courts.
If elected, he will be the first Northampton County judge ever elected to the state's high court. In giving Panella their highest evaluation - "highly recommended" - the PBA Judicial Evaluation Commission released this statement.
"The Candidate currently serves as a judge of the Superior Court, having been elected in November 2003. He previously served more than 12 years as a common pleas judge in Northampton County, and before that was a practicing attorney and county solicitor. He has served as a judge and President Judge of the Court of Judicial Discipline, where charges against judicial officers are heard, and as chair of the Judicial Conduct Board, which investigates claims of ethical misconduct against Pennsylvania judges and brings charges in meritorious cases. His service on the Commission for Justice Initiatives in Pennsylvania exemplifies his commitment to the improvement of the quality of justice. He is the principal author of an important bench book for Pennsylvania trial judges about crimes of sexual violence. His written opinions are crafted with clarity and precision. During his time on the bench, he has shown both sound judicial temperament and exceptional administrative ability. The Commission believes the Candidate possesses a rare combination of intellect, energy and skills that qualify him as highly recommended to ascend to the Supreme Court."
A link to his questionnaire is located here.