Voters in Carbon County will elect a third judge for its Court of Common Pleas on Tuesday, Nov. 8, when the General Election is held. Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in each of the county's 51 election precincts. Meanwhile, county voters will also participate in countywide voting on the referendum issue of the retention of President Judge Roger N. Nanovic for another 10-year term.
The new judge will imminently be attorney Joseph J. Matika of Lehighton, an assistant district attorney in the county who in May won both the Democratic and Republican nominations to virtually assure his election to a 10-year term on Tuesday. Matika defeated another assistant district attorney, James Lavelle of East Penn Township.
Matika will succeed the late Judge David W. Addy, who in November 2005 won the election to succeed President Judge Richard W. Webb upon his retirement. Addy sat on the bench from January 2006 until his untimely death on Dec. 17, 2009, at the age of 52.
Meanwhile, Carbon County received a third judgeship through state enactment, and Judge Steven Serfass was elected to the position in November 2009, which would have given the county a full compliment of three Common Pleas judges. But before he was took his oath in January of the following year, Judge Addy passed away.
Since that time, Webb has handled his workload.
All of that will finally be resolved as 2012 approaches since Matika will join Nanovic and Serfass.
Meanwhile, Judge Nanovic, who was elected in November 2001, is up for a retention vote for a second 10-year term. The question will be the final one listed on the 2011 ballot and requires a "yes" or "no" vote.
Nanovic was sworn in on Jan. 4, 2002, joining Webb on the bench as the successor to retired Senior Judge John P. Lavelle. Later, when Webb retired, Nanovic became the president judge.
Prior to becoming a judge, he was a member of Nanovic Law Offices, Jim Thorpe, during which time he held many solicitorships, including that of Carbon County.
Nanovic has been endorsed by both the Democratic and Republican parties in Carbon County.
Six other retention referendums are also on the ballot, those being for statewide judges whose terms of office are scheduled to expire. All of them are currently serving in state capacities.
They are J. Michael Eakin, Justice of the Supreme Court; John T. Bender and Mary Jane Bowers, judges on the Superior County; and Renee Cohn Jubelirer, Mary Hannan Leavitt and Robin Simpson, judges on the Commonwealth Court.
Voters are reminded the seven retention questions appear at the end of each ballot, after voters cast their ballots for county, school district and borough or county offices.