Pennsylvanians Nominate State Supreme Court Candidates

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Tuesday, May 16, voters in Pennsylvania nominated two candidates for the state’s open Supreme Court seat left vacant by the death of Democratic Chief Justice Max Baer in October 2022. With six justices, the court currently consists of four Democrats and two Republicans. Judge Daniel McCaffery won the Democratic nomination while Judge Carolyn Carluccio won the Republican primary. The two candidates will face off in the general election on Nov. 7.

In the Democratic primary, McCaffery defeated fellow Superior Court Judge Deborah Kunselman. McCaffery was endorsed by the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and several labor groups and told the state bar association that his run for the court is motivated by his desire to “restore faith in the judicial branch of government.”

In the Republican primary, Carluccio defeated Commonwealth Court Judge Particia McCollough. McCollough gave former President Donald Trump one of his only legal victories in 2020 and has been associated with multiple election deniers. Though McCollough may be more extreme, Carluccio has also echoed some false election claims.

In recent years, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has played a key role in deciding how Pennsylvania’s elections are run. The court issued multiple rulings in 2020 and 2022 interpreting the election code and implemented new congressional maps in 2018 and 2021. The winner of the general election this November will have a hand in future decisions affecting Pennsylvania’s democracy.

Read a profile of the candidates here.