Judge, attorney face off in state Superior Court race
Jack McVay Jr. and Vic Stabile have a tough enough challenge introducing themselves to voters on campaign budgets that, by statewide standards, could be described as bare-bones.
They also have to inform voters about their race for Superior Court judge, the only statewide contest on Nov. 5.
“I’m still finding that a lot of people have no idea this race is on the ballot,” said Stabile, 56, a Republican attorney from Carlisle.
“It is sort of a back-burner election. People are looking to 2014 and the governor’s race,” said McVay, 57, of Shadyside, an Allegheny County judge who won a close Democratic primary in the spring.
The men are running for an open seat on the court that primarily hears appeals on Common Pleas decisions.
Each of the 15 judges on Superior Court makes $188,337 a year. Once elected, they face a yes-or-no retention vote every 10 years.
McVay said his six years on the bench in the Family Division make him most qualified for the spot.
“It’s basically an error-correction type of court. Did the trial court make an error?” he said about the job he’s seeking. “I’ve been making those decisions that get reviewed.”
Stabile, an attorney who handles civil cases, touted his experience in arguing appeals before the appellate courts.
“If you’re going to be a judge at this level, you need to see how the law affects people,” he said.
Both described recent weeks of crisscrossing the state, trying to get face time with people at community meetings and political events in counties where voters are mostly paying attention to municipal and school board elections.
“We’ll be pushing for 20 percent turnout,” said Stabile, who has raised nearly $253,000, according to campaign finance reports released on Friday.
“We’re targeting counties and trying to get to events in those counties,” said McVay, whose campaign report showed him lagging with nearly $96,000 in campaign donations. “We’re still trying to raise some money.”
Friday was the deadline for the last full reports due before the election.
This is McVay’s first run for Superior Court. He ran unsuccessfully for Commonwealth Court in 1995 and 1997. Stabile lost a 2011 race for Superior Court. He served on the Middlesex Township Board of Supervisors and chaired the Cumberland County Republican Committee.
David Conti is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.