County judges are elected to serve 10-year terms. If they desire to remain in office at the end of their term, they seek retention. Voters vote Yes or No. In my lifetime, I've only seen one judge - Justice Russell Nigro in 2005 - rejected in a retention election.
The argument for retention, as opposed to re-election, is that judges could be taken to task for unpopular but legally correct decisions. A 10-year term, however, provides lots of insulation. Another argument is that a nonpartisan retention election takes the judge out of politics. But judges are the most political animals I know.
Since 2012, the County Comm'rs Ass'n of Pa has maintained that county judges should stand for re-election, instead of retention, at the end of their 10-year terms. While this would require a change to the Pa. Constitution, I am sure it would garner wide support, especially if the elections are nonpartisan. A judge should be accountable to the voter.
Let me add as an aside that I oppose any attempt at so-called "merit selection" of judges. That just takes the politics away from the people and into the hands of a bunch of unelected bluebloods.
What's your take?