In suburban judicial primaries, the most hotly contested race is among seven candidates vying for two Common Pleas Court vacancies in Delaware County.

Republicans' best choices are a pair of magisterial district judges, RICHARD M. CAPPELLI and GREGORY M. MALLON. Both were stand-outs in the Delaware County bar's recent poll of practicing attorneys. Democrats should pick Media Borough Council president FRANK W. DALY and former U.S. Army Reserve officer MICHAEL T. FARRELL, who ran for State Senate last year.

With one court vacancy in Bucks County, Republicans have an able nominee in District Attorney DIANE GIBBONS, while Democrats have an experienced legal hand in Newtown attorney GARY B. GILMAN.

In Chester County, Democrat Jennifer W. Levy-Tatum and Republican David F. Bortner, both attorneys in private practice in West Chester, have cross-filed for one court vacancy. They will face off in the fall unless one locks up both nominations on May 15.