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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lehigh County Has Four Outstanding Judicial Candidates

Conventional wisdom is that State Rep. Doug Reichley will win the Republican nod in Tuesday's Lehigh County judicial race. He's smart, well-funded, and knows a thing or two about elections.

It's also commonly believed that Democrats will select Lehigh County Commissioner Dan McCarthy, who is equally knowledgeable and has run before.

But there are two other candidates, Assistant DA A. Renee Smith, endorsed by DA Jim Martin, and Melissa Pavlack, who has the #1 ballot position.

According to an excellent political formula that blogger Chris Casey keeps locked at the Pentagon, this is anybody's race.

Smith and McCarthy received the highest ratings from the local bar, presumably because they have the most trial experience. But some of the best judges I've seen have had little or no trial experience.

Some may say that Reichley has grown rusty because he has spent so much time in the legislature. The same complaint was made about Craig Dally when he ran for judge in Northampton County. After he won, the Northampton County bench said they considered his past experience an asset. They finally had someone to grill about goofy laws. "What the hell were you thinking?"

The truth is that any of the four Lehigh County judicial candidates would be a valuable asset. If I had to rate them it would be McCarthy, Reichley, Smith and Pavlack. But you could have it in the opposite order and I'd be equally happy.


Anonymous said...

Have you seem Smith's mailing? She used a photo of a dead West Point student bragging about how hard she workrd to convict the drunk driver who killed him. How hard she worked?

The drunk driver pleaded guilty! She stood mext to him while he ws pleading guilty! Say what you will about Doug Reichley, he was a real prosecutor.

Smith's flier was offensive.
She just wamted to use a photo of a dead West Point cadet in her mailing. The cop did the real hard work. She took a guilty plea. Does not sound like a judicial candidate to me.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I did not see her mailer, and would need to know more before reaching a conclusion. Perhaps the plea was a result of hard work she did.

I agree Reichley was a formidable prosecutor.

Anonymous said...

The problem with Rep. Doug Reichley is that he's to close to the Judicial Branch - Remember those pay raises. He's the problem and shouldn't be on the public payroll as I see it.

Anonymous said...

Had an opportunity to hear three of these candidates speak before community groups: Pavlack, Smith, Reichley. Pavlack and Smith spoke with conviction; Reichley with
a sense of exhaustion. Would like to see a fresh face. If Reichley wins, will he collect two state pensions? Perhaps during the campaign, he said he'll return one or both...

Mike Keenan said...

Dan McCarthy, the only Democrat in the race for judge in Lehigh County, was rated Well-Qualified to serve as Judge by the Lehigh County Bar Association.

He's game ready for the job with extensive experience in both civil and criminal law. And he's also the only candidate fighting for a Veteran's Court to support the unique legal challenges faced by many veterans readjusting to civilian life.

Anonymous said...

Didn't see Smith's mailing. That's pretty awful if true.

Olive Peele said...

Reichley should fufill his committment and stay in the legislature. He is just trying to get 10 more years on the citizens payroll.

Go for Pavlack or McCarthy.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Olive Peele said...

Reichley should fufill his committment and stay in the legislature. He is just trying to get 10 more years on the citizens payroll.

Go for Pavlack or McCarthy.

8:14 AM

Agree Reichley makes himself look bad with this political move.

Anonymous said...

Someone should tell Pavlack she does not look good in purple. Does she think she's Barney?! or Grape Ape?!

Anonymous said...

If Reichley, are the citizens, going have to pay for a special election to fill his seat?
Personally I like Pavlack.

peter said...

Unable to raise money for his judicial campaign, Doug Reichley transferred $10,000.00 on April 29, 2011 and $5,000.00 on May 2, 2011 from his State Representative campaign to fund his two judicial campaign mailings. His campaign finance reports list these transfers. Doug has defended these transfers as legal. He misses the point entirely.

His actions are unethical. Political action committees and voters of the 134th District contributed money to his representative campaign because they wanted him to be re-elected as State Representative. They did not donate money to have him run a judicial campaign.

A judge must not engage in any conduct that has the appearance of improperly.

Since you offered a prediction, I will offer my own. Melissa Pavlack will win both the Republican and Democratic nominations tomorrow.

Honest, fair and compassionate.

Ted said...

While Doug slams the other candidates for their backgrounds, he is not truthful about his own background.

He has had only 16 domestic cases in his nearly quarter century of practice.

He has had only 33 civil cases in his nearly quarter century of practice.

He also fails to mention that he is the only candidate that has defended criminals.

A Judge must be truthful.

Doug fails in this regard.

Anonymous said...

Doug is the smartest person of the four.

Chris Casey said...


I received the Smith mailing with the picture from the West Point graduate's crash at my home. Did she have permission to use that? If I were the family, I would have questions.

Second, I am more interested in the high profile DUI cases, sucgh as Judy Fulmer, that Smith inexplicably did not handle. and why not?

Third, I noticed too comments here matching ones on my blog. While factually accurate, I don't care for such "Spam" commenting. I understand it, and the ease it represents, but I don't care for it.

Finally, I keep my secret formula for race predictions secured in a hidden room at the dress shop in London where Princess Kate's wedding dress was hidden. If they can keep that secret from the British Press, they can hide anything!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Chris, I understand Seal Team Six is preparing to get that formula.

Anonymous said...

Reichley was the prosecuting attorney in the Jeffrey Howorth trial. Howorth shot his parents to death and fled to Missouri. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity. After the verdict, Reichley was quoted as saying, "Obviously we did something wrong." (Morning Call 10/23/1995)

Evidently, time has changed Reichley's perception of how great a prosecutor he really was in 1995.

Anonymous said...

Reichley is the best candidate and will do the best job. He has worked tirelessly in the Legislature and will be an excellent judge. Vote Reichley and stop throwing mud.

Tom Marshall said...

Doing well in the legislature has exactly nothing to do with being a good judge. What fantasy land do you live in? The guy has been on the public dole all his adult life. He needs to retain the office we put him into,and which at he does a reasonable job, not betray his commitment and get yet another publicly paid for job. His actions show him to be a game paying sleaze crook out only for himself