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One-Third of Phila. Judicial Candidates Have Quit Race

March 30, 2015

The Legal Intelligencer
By P.J. D'Annunzio

Of roughly 60 candidates who were running for judgeships in Philadelphia’s common pleas and municipal courts, 20 have dropped out of the race.

Despite the number of withdrawals, observers maintained the number of candidates left in the race is still the largest seen in recent memory.

[…]

While receiving a favorable rating from the bar association helps, ballot position still trumps all, according to Gregory Harvey, who practices political and public election law at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads.

“Ballot position is deemed to be very important because the majority of persons who participate in the Democratic primary have little idea of the objective merits of the candidates,” Harvey said.

“my personal estimate,” Harvey said, “more than half of the voters cast their votes for common pleas based on punching the first 12 buttons, and some of the other half are influenced sample ballots. A few, less than 10 percent, are influenced campaign material that they receive from candidates.”

Although ballot position is key, Harvey said there have been examples of candidates with top ballot position losing the race due to a lack of party endorsement or a favorable rating.

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