The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Easton election guide: 2023 general election

Ballots+must+be+received+at+the+Northampton+County+Courthouse%2C+located+at+669+Washington+Street%2C+by+8+p.m.+on+Nov.+7.
Photo by Emma Sylvester for The Lafayette
Ballots must be received at the Northampton County Courthouse, located at 669 Washington Street, by 8 p.m. on Nov. 7.

Election Day is nearing! This odd-year election guide will focus on the judgeships up for grabs on Nov. 7 – judges are elected in partisan elections in Pennsylvania – in addition to the quiet race for Northampton County Controller and a trio of term-limit ballot referendums.

This guide will be looking at what is on the ballot of someone whose registered mailing address is here at Lafayette College. Those registered elsewhere in Pennsylvania or out of state can use vote411.org, vote.org or their local county elections office to find information on who is running and how to vote.

Getting to the polls

All Pennsylvania voters must be registered by Oct. 23 and, for those who prefer mail-in ballots, they must be requested by Oct. 31. Those unsure of their voter registration status or polling location can view this information at ​​vote.pa.gov.

Lafayette students voting in-person can do so at Kirby Sports Center between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Nov. 7. Those who are in line to vote by 8 p.m. cannot be turned away. Additionally, for those who elect to vote by mail, ballots must be received by the Northampton County Office of Elections and Voter Registration, located at 669 Washington Street in Easton, by 8 p.m. on Nov. 7 without exceptions for ballots merely postmarked by that time.

Who is on the ballot?

Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is the Commonwealth’s highest court, hearing cases appealed to it from Pennsylvania’s two lower statewide courts. On the court, there are seven justices. Democrats currently hold a 4-2 majority; this election is to fill the vacancy left by Max Baer, a Democrat who died last year.

Term: 10 years

Candidates

Daniel McCaffery (D) has served on the Pennsylvania Superior Court since 2020. Prior to this, he served on Philadelphia’s Court of Common Pleas and as a Philadelphia prosecutor, in addition to private practice experience. McCaffery is an Army veteran.

Carolyn Carluccio (R) is the president judge of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, serving on the court since 2010. Prior to this, she served as the chief public defender for Montgomery County and as a federal prosecutor.

Judge of the Pennsylvania Superior Court

The Superior Court is, in most cases, the highest court that civil and criminal cases will reach in Pennsylvania. It also hears appeals on matters involving children and families. There is an even partisan split on the court with one vacancy. One Republican judge is retiring.

Term: 10 years

Candidates (Select up to two)

Jill Beck (D) is a private practice attorney who provides pro bono representation. She previously clerked for a Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice.

Timika Lane (D) began her career teaching before going into family law and then a pro bono defense firm before being elected to the Court of Common Pleas in 2013, where she currently serves.

Maria Battista (R) is a former prosecutor who has provided counsel for the Pennsylvania state and health departments.

Harry F. Smail Jr. (R) is a judge for the Westmoreland County Court of Common Pleas, serving in that role since 2014. He is a former probation and parole officer.

Judges Jack Panella (D) and Victor Stabile (R) are running in retention elections due to having served out 10-year terms.

Judge of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court

This nine-member court hears civil cases brought against the state and its various agencies, as well as appeals by said agencies. The court currently has a 5-3 Republican majority with one vacancy left by a Republican in 2021.

Term: 10 years

Candidates

Matt Wolf (D) is a supervising judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court. Prior to his service on the bench, he was a civil rights lawyer. He currently serves in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.

Megan Martin (R) is a former secretary and parliamentarian for the Pennsylvania Senate. She has worked as an attorney throughout the state government, has served as an attorney for the United States Navy and has given pro bono services on behalf of the Young Women’s Christian Association.

Judge of the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas

The Northampton County Court of Common Pleas is the first court in line for criminal trials, civil claims and the issuance of arrest warrants in the area, among many other issues. This election is to fill a vacancy left on the nine-member court by a Democrat who resigned last year to run for district attorney.

Term: 10 years

Candidates

Brian Panella (D) is the Bethlehem City Council solicitor. He previously served as a custody master for Northampton and Lehigh Counties.

Nancy Aaroe (R) has served as both a public defender and a prosecutor in Northampton County. She currently works in private practice.

Judge Jennifer Sletvold (R) is running in a retention election due to having served out a 10-year term.

Northampton County Controller

The controller serves as the fiscal watchdog of Northampton County, conducting audits of county expenditures and contracts. The current controller is a Democrat appointed to the seat after the previous two controllers, Bucky Szulborski and Tony Bassil, died in office.

Term: Four years

Candidates

Tara Zrinski (D) has served on the Northampton County Council since 2018. She also works for SunPulse Solar, is a labor organizer, teaches philosophy classes at DeSales University and authored a children’s book.

John Cusick (R) is a two-term Northampton County Commissioner. In between his two commissioner stints, he served as the auditor for Williams Township. He also chaired the Williams Township board of directors.

Ballot questions

The Northampton County Council voted in July to allow Northampton County residents to vote to enact term limits on three county offices: executive, controller and council member.

Question 1: Should county council members be limited to three successive four-year terms in office?

Question 2: Should the county executive be limited to two successive four-year terms in office?

Question 3: Should the county controller be limited to two successive four-year terms in office?

The candidates for Northampton County District Attorney, Northampton County Council, Easton mayor, Easton controller, Easton City Council and Easton Area School District Director are all running unopposed. All except the candidate for school district director are running as Democrats.

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About the Contributors
Trebor Maitin, Managing Editor
Pennsylvania enthusiast.
Emma Sylvester, Photo Editor

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