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Voters will decide county, state races

Published November 04. 2013 05:01PM

Carbon County voters reporting to the polls Tuesday will have only one county and one statewide contest in which to choose. Balloting will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in each of the county's 51 election precincts.

The county race is for a four-year term of Carbon County Register of Wills and Clerk of the Orphans' Court where the incumbent, Judy F. Moon, a Democrat from Nesquehoning, is facing opposition from Jean Papay, a Republican from Palmerton.

Moon has been a presence in the Register of Wills office since 1981. She began her career as a clerk, advanced to first deputy and subsequently was elected to the office in 1995.

Papay currently works for Rep. Doyle Heffley in his district offices in Lehighton, Albrightsville and Lansford.


Meanwhile, Carbon voters will participate in the statewide balloting for a 10-year term as Judge of the Superior Court. The candidates in that race are Democrat Jack McVay Jr. of Pittsburgh and Republican Vic Stabile of Carlisle.The winner will succeed Judge John Musmanno on the 15-member appellate court. Musmanno began senior status in the Superior Court in January after having had to retire due to reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70.

McVay, a graduate of the Duquesne University's School of Law, served as a law clerk in the Allegheny County District Attorney's office and later was an executive assistant to County Commissioner Pete Flaherty and general counsel to the Allegheny County Housing Authority.

In 1998, he took a position as assistant county solicitor representing child welfare cases. He was elected to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas in 2007.

Stabile, a graduate of the Dickinson School of Law, served as an appellate court clerk in the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania and was later appointed a Deputy Attorney General in a trial division of the Office of Attorney General, where he litigated cases in defense of Commonwealth agencies throughout many of the Commonwealth's trial courts and the appellate courts of Pennsylvania.

In 1987, he joined the law firm of Dilworth Paxson LLP, and has been a partner and the managing member of its Harrisburg office since 1992. His practice principally involves complex commercial and business litigation.

The Superior Court is one of two state intermediate appellate courts, the other being the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. The jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Court is limited to decisions of state agencies, and certain cases where the Commonwealth is a party; the Superior Court is the appellate court of general jurisdiction. It typically receives cases that are generally of right from final decisions of the Court of Common Pleas.

Although different panels of three judges may sit to hear appeals, there is only one Superior Court since Pennsylvania is not divided into appellate territories. The court is based in Harrisburg and sits to hears cases in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

The winner of the McVay-Stabile race will join 13 other judges on the Superior Court, assuming two jurists seeking retention are successful in those ventures. They include judges Susan Gantman and Jack A. Panella, the latter being from Northampton County (see related story).

The other Superior Court judges are Kate Ford Elliott, president judge emeritus, John T. Bender, president judge, Mary Jane Bowes, Christine L. Donohue, a Lansford native, Jacqueline O. Shogan, Cheryl Lynn Allen, Anne E. Lazarus, Sallie Updyke Mundy, Judith Ference Olson, Paula Francisco Ott and David Wecht.

There is one vacancy on the court since Judge Correale F. Stevens of Hazleton has appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett to the state Supreme Court. He was sworn in as a justice in July.

Uncontested races

Two other county offices will be filled by the electorate this time around, although there are no challenges to the incumbent officeholders.

Treasurer Ronald J. Sheehan of Jim Thorpe and Clerk of Courts William C. McGinley of Mahoning Township, both Democrats, are running for re-election to four-year terms but there are no Republican candidates against either of them.

Sheehan is seeking his fourth four-year term as treasurer. In 1992, he took a position as accountant/fiscal deputy in the office of the Carbon County Controller. He left the office when he was elected treasurer in 2001.

McGinley is seeking his seventh four-year term as clerk of courts. He was initially elected to the office in 1989, having previously worked in the Lehigh County Court System.

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