HARRISBURG - Party-endorsed candidates won Republican primary races for two statewide judicial vacancies Tuesday.
In the GOP contest for Commonwealth Court judge, New Hope lawyer Anne Covey claimed the nomination over Paul Panepinto, a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge.
In the Superior Court race, the endorsed Republican, Harrisburg lawyer Vic Stabile, beat out another Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge, Paula Patrick, to win the party's nomination.
Late Tuesday, the Democratic contest for a nomination to Commonwealth Court was too close to call, with Doylestown lawyer Kathryn Boockvar, who had her party's endorsement, leading Pittsburgh lawyer Barbara Behrend Ernsberger.
The Democratic candidate for Superior Court, David Wecht, an Allegheny County judge and son of the controversial coroner Cyril Wecht, ran unopposed.
The winners will face off in the Nov. 8 general election.
Along with the party endorsement, Stabile outraised Patrick by a wide margin, reporting $49,000 in his campaign fund compared with her $177. By contrast, Covey raised little, reporting just $5,000 in her campaign coffers compared with Panepinto's $24,000.
The Republican Party's state chairman, Rob Gleason, congratulated Stabile and Covey, calling them "conservative and principled" court candidates.
Turnout was low, but not unusually so for a primary in which local races drew the most interest, according to the Associated Press' random checks with election officials across the state.
The judgeships at stake are on the middle rung of Pennsylvania's judicial ladder. Commonwealth Court hears challenges to state laws and appeals of decisions by state agencies. Superior Court hears appeals in criminal cases and most civil cases from the county courts, and appeals from those courts on matters involving children and families.