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May 21, 2021

3 Philadelphia Bar Association "Highly Recommended" Candidates Win Election; 7 "Recommended" Win

“These primary election results reflect the regard that voters have for our robust rating process,” said Chancellor Lauren P. McKenna.

For the second consecutive primary election, only Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judicial candidates rated “Highly Recommended” or “Recommended” by the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention – including three of five “Highly Recommended” candidates – won positions on the November ballot. In the primary for Philadelphia Municipal Court, both “Recommended” candidates moved on to the general election.

The Commission, which is made up of legal professionals and members of the community, conducts a thorough, nonpartisan review of Philadelphia-based judicial candidates’ qualifications before issuing a rating based on criteria that include legal ability, experience, integrity, temperament, community involvement and judgment.

“These primary election results reflect the regard that voters have for our robust, nonpartisan rating process,” said Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Lauren P. McKenna. “Our Commission and our voter education-focused political action committee, the Campaign for Qualified Judges, have worked diligently this primary season to help voters learn about the candidates and make an informed choice.”

The members of the Commission and the volunteers who serve on its investigative teams spent hundreds of hours doing due diligence on the candidates. “We are proud to provide Philadelphians with an authoritative source for information about judicial candidates and gratified that voters continue to look to us for this service,” said Niki T. Ingram, chair of the Judicial Commission.

The Campaign for Qualified Judges mounted a comprehensive voter education campaign around the recommendations, pivoting this year to account for the pandemic and the shift to mail-in ballots by focusing on direct mailings to likely voters and a comprehensive campaign on social media and other digital platforms.

The Campaign sent two direct mailings to more than 32,000 households in Philadelphia, while the 2021 digital campaign garnered more than 20,000 unique pageviews to and more than 1.5 million impressions through social and digital ads.

“With these results, voters showed that they find our work important and impactful,” said Matt Olesh, chair of the Campaign for Qualified Judges. “We appreciate all of the ward leaders and community groups that gave us the chance to speak about our ratings and our process, and helped us put qualified candidates on the November ballot.”

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