Democrats and Republicans appeared poised to each pick up a seat on an appellate court in Pennsylvania’s only statewide election Tuesday.
Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Daniel McCaffery, a Democrat, and Republican Megan McCarthy King, a Chester County assistant district attorney, held narrow leads with 98.5% of precincts reporting as of Wednesday morning.
Rounding out the four-candidate field were Democrat Amanda Green-Hawkins, a lawyer for the United Steelworkers, and Cumberland County Court Judge Christylee Peck, a Republican.
Hawkins trailed King by less than 1 percentage point.
Judicial races tend to draw relatively little interest among the general public, so the results may reflect how voters feel about the two parties generally.
Democratic and GOP groups spent more than $2 million on TV ads, with each side spending at least $1 million.
There were two vacancies on the 15-judge Superior Court, a statewide appellate court that hears thousands of appeals annually in civil and criminal cases, as well as family matters. The judges are elected to 10-year terms, after which they face uncontested retention elections.
The vacancies were created when a Republican judge declined to seek retention and a Democrat became a senior judge.
The court typically sits in three-judge panels in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh.
Also Tuesday, there were uncontested elections for Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, the court of general trial jurisdiction that handles felony criminal cases and major civil cases, as well as family and juvenile matters.
Voters elected seven Democrats to the Common Pleas Court bench: Jennifer Schultz, Anthony Kyriakakis, Joshua Roberts, Tiffany Palmer, James C. Crumlish, Carmella Jacquinto, and Crystal B. Powell. No Republicans were on the ballot.
David Conroy, also a Democrat, was elected to Municipal Court, which handles relatively minor criminal cases, civil cases involving smaller claims, and traffic cases.
Nearly 20 appellate and local judges won uncontested retention elections.