Woodruff, who was seeking to become the first black justice to serve on the Supreme Court since Cynthia Baldwin retired in 2008, was facing a better-funded incumbent in his first statewide race.

Formerly a Superior Court judge, Mundy was appointed by Gov. Wolf in 2016 on an interim basis to replace Justice Michael Eakin, who resigned amid a pornographic-email scandal. Her work there, and her prior legal career, garnered a "highly recommended" rating from the state's bar association. She also joined or authored opinions that won the favor of trial lawyers and a statewide teachers union.

That allowed her to retain traditional Republican bases, such as abortion foes, while also capturing groups that typically align with Democrats. The resulting financial edge allowed Mundy to buy TV ads in Philadelphia telling voters she was "not your typical Republican" — even as she touted backing from gun-rights advocates and opponents of abortion rights.

Woodruff, who has served on Family Court since 2005 and ran a failed 2015 Supreme Court bid, raised eyebrows by criticizing President Trump for denouncing professional football players who knelt during the national anthem. Woodruff compared the players to civil rights champions such as Rosa Parks and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr,, and said Trump had "push[ed] our country to become more divided and ultimately penalize[d] our First Amendment rights."

Republicans tried to use those remarks against Democrats, with a mailing urging voters to back "judges who share our values and stand for the flag."