Lawyers Alexandra Kokura and Jerry Mecadon will square off in the Nov. 5 General Election for the district judge seat vacated when Fred Pierantoni became a Luzerne County judge, according to unofficial results late Tuesday night.
Kokura, 30, of Dupont, gathered with a group of about 30 red-shirted supporters at the Dupont VFW. She was reluctant to acknowledge her win until she had a final number from Luzerne County.
“I tried to knock on every door and meet as many people as possible to get our message out,” she said. “And that message was I’m going to work hard, 100 percent, every day for this community.”
Mecadon, 48, of Jenkins Township, and his supporters gathered at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Main Street in Pittston.
“It would have been nice to win on both sides, but we’re happy to be in the dance,” he said. “It was a hard-fought, well-run campaign by everyone. I thank my supporters and now I’m looking toward the fall campaign.”
With all of the magisterial district’s 21 precincts reporting on the Democratic side, Kokura received 1,365 votes to former Luzerne County Recorder of Deeds James “Red” O’Brien’s 1,357. Mecadon came in third with 1,283. On the Republican side, Mecadon received 286 votes to Kokura’s 260. O’Brien received 132.
Eight candidates ran, and all but two cross-filed on both tickets.
Other candidates who cross-filed are Arthur Bobbouine of Pittston, Len Sanguedolce of Pittston and Mark Singer of Pittston. Jeffrey C. Kulick of Hughestown and Quiana Murphy Lehman of Dupont appeared on the Democratic ballot only.
The magisterial district recently became significantly larger. Earlier this year, the state Supreme Court approved a plan by Luzerne County Court that added Jenkins and Pittston townships and Yatesville Borough to the district that currently includes Pittston, Dupont, Duryea and Hughestown.
Realignment of the district takes effect on June 1.
The Pittston seat is currently occupied on an interim basis by Senior District Judge Andrew Barilla Jr., formerly the longtime Swoyersville district judge. He was appointed to the seat after Fred Pierantoni became a county judge and is paid on a per diem basis.
One early favorite for the district judge’s seat was former Luzerne County District Attorney Jackie Musto Carroll of Yatesville, but she decided not to run.
According to campaign finance reports filed with the Luzerne County Election Office for the latest reporting period ending on May 6, Kokura was the biggest money raiser and the biggest spender, followed by Mecadon and Singer. Money collected come from candidates themselves, their families and personal campaign donations.
Kokura is a special court master in the Lackawanna County Court of Common Pleas, and, after the Luzerne County corruption scandal, she volunteered to work on the Youth Aid Panel Program through the District Attorney’s Office. She does not operate a private practice.
Born and raised in Dupont, she graduated from Scranton Prep in 2000. She received a bachelor’s degree at Lehigh University and, after several years off, she received her law degree from Widner University School of Law in 2009. After college, she served as an assistant to former U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski in Washington, D.C. After law school, she served as law clerk to Lackawanna County Court of Common Please Judge Thomas J. Munley.
She is married to Nick Kravitz, formerly of Pittston. Her family has resided in Dupont for many generations.
Mecadon is a private practice lawyer. Born in Pittston Township, he graduated from Seton Catholic High School in 1983. He earned a bachelor of science degree in business management from the University of Scranton in 1987 and his law degree from Widner University School of Law in Wilmington, Del., in 1990.
His first legal job was a clerk in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Scranton. He worked for a year in Philadelphia and returned home to private-practice work. He teamed with current County Court of Common Pleas Judge Mike Vough and subsequently has been in practice on his own. He is also an assistant public defender for the county and serves on the board of directors of Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce.
He is married to the former Christa DeVizia and they reside in Jenkins Township.