HARRISBURG -- A Pittsburgher and Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Judge, Jack McVay, is the winner in the Democratic primary for the state's Superior Court, over fellow Democrat Philadelphia Judge Joe Waters.
"For me, serving as a judge in Allegheny County's Common Pleas Family Division has been a call to service of the highest order and I am excited about the opportunity voters are providing me to extend that call to service to Pennsylvania's Superior Court," said a statement from Mr. McVay Wednesday.
He now will face Republican judicial candidate Vic Stabile, of Cumberland County, in the general election.
Superior Court is one of two statewide intermediate appellate courts. It has 15 judges and is responsible for appeals in civil and criminal cases from courts at the Common Pleas level as well as appeals on matters involving children and families. Cases are usually heard by a panel of three judges.
Mr. McVay, 56, of Shadyside, has been an Allegheny County Common Pleas judge in the Family Division since 2008. During the campaign, he said he has wanted to be a judge since attending law school at Duquesne University in the 1980s.
"It is the highest form of service in the legal profession," he said.
Prior to becoming a judge, he served as an assistant Allegheny County solicitor from 1998 until 2007; he also previously worked as an assistant city solicitor for the city of Pittsburgh and was Allegheny County Housing Authority general counsel.
His opponent Mr. Waters, 60, of Philadelphia, has served as a Philadelphia Municipal Court judge since 2009. His prior career includes serving in the Marines, working for the Philadelphia Police Department for 21 years and working as a lawyer in private practice representing clients in bankruptcy, family law and criminal defense matters.
Judge Waters had previously said he hoped to bring a working-class point of view to the court.
"I bring a perspective to the court that doesn't exist there," he said. "I've done more than be a lawyer in my life. I understand what working-class people go through. I understand the struggles you have in today's economy."
The Pennsylvania Bar Association rated all three men "recommended."
A spokesman for Mr. McVay said Tuesday that he intends to run a positive general election campaign emphasizing his experience with juvenile cases, child welfare and family law.
Kate Giammarise: email@example.com, 1-717-787-4254 or on Twitter: @KateGiammarise. First Published May 22, 2013 4:45 AM