WILKES-BARRE — Nine people have filed nomination petitions seeking to fill the vacant seat for magisterial district judge in the Pittston area.
The magisterial district will be larger next year, as the state Supreme Court last month expanded it by adding the townships of Jenkins and Pittston, and Yatesville borough to the city of Pittston and the boroughs of Avoca, Dupont, Duryea and Hughestown.
Realignment of the district takes effect on June 1.
Candidates who filed nomination petitions for the Pittston-based district judge seat are: Arthur Bobbouine of Pittston, attorney Alexandra Kokura of Dupont, attorney Jeffrey C. Kulick of Pittston, attorney Quiana Murphy Lehman of Pittston, attorney Girard Mecadon of Jenkins Township, James O’Brien of Pittston, attorney Len Sanguedolce of Pittston, attorney Mark Singer of Pittston and James O’Brien of Pittston.
All the candidates have cross-filed to be on both the Democratic and Republican ballots for the primary elections on May 21.
The two who receive the most party votes will square off in the Nov. 5 general election.
Mecadon was permitted to enter the primary campaign after Michael Butera, solicitor for the Luzerne County Bureau of Elections, said that the person elected to fill the vacant seat will take office on Jan. 1, 2014. By that time, Mecadon’s hometown of Jenkins Township will be in the magisterial district.
The seat became vacant when Fred Pierantoni III was elected to the county Court of Common Pleas in the 2011 general election.
Senior District Judge Andrew Barilla has been presiding over cases during the vacancy.
Two district judges whose seats are open this year will face no opposition. No one filed petitions to challenge incumbents Michael Dotzel in Wilkes-Barre Township and Joseph Zola in Hazleton.
District judges are elected to six-year terms and are paid $86,639 a year.