Carbon County's newest judge, Steven R. Serfass, will be welcomed with a Dec. 29 party - free and open to the public - at the Palmerton Hotel, sponsored by the Carbon County Republican Committee.

Serfass was elected judge in November.

The party will begin at 7:30 p.m., said Lee Becker, who is secretary of the executive board of the committee.

"It's just a gathering to give Steve a chance to say thank you to everyone who supported him, and to bring unity, because it was an election that crossed party lines," he said.

Serfass defeated fellow Republican Gregory Mousseau of Jim Thorpe in the May primary election, then went on to defeat Democratic opponent Carole Wildoner-Walbert of Jim Thorpe in the November General election.

Serfass, of Palmerton, was to have been the county's third judge, to serve a10-year term with fellow jurists Roger Nanovic II and David W. Addy.

However, Addy died Dec. 17 after a lengthy illness. Gov. Ed Rendell will appoint an interim judge to serve in Addy's place until the Nov. 2011 election.

Serfass has been a lawyer for 14 years. He and his wife, attorney Jenny Cheng, own the Serfass & Cheng Law Office in Palmerton. Cheng said she will continue to operate that law firm.