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Local Superior Court Judge Jack Panella unsuccessful in bid for high court


December 2009, Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton edition of The Union News

Local Superior Court Judge Jack Panella unsuccessful in bid for high court


REGION, November 4th- Jack Panella, Superior Court Judge in Bethlehem, and labor supported Pennsylvania Supreme Court Democratic Party candidate, was defeated by Republican candidate Joan Orie Melvin in the general election on November 3rd. Because of Mr. Panella’s defeat the partisan balance of the seven-member Supreme Court will shift toward the Republicans. Currently, there are four Democrats and three Republicans on the high court.

Mr. Panella was endorsed by many labor unions and federations throughout the Commonwealth including the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and the Pennsylvania Building and Construction Trades Council.

Ms. Melvin is a sitting Superior Court Judge in Pittsburgh and critized Mr. Panella for accepting campaign contributions from organized labor. Her campaign stated in radio and television advertisements Mr. Panella was supported by a “special interest group,” meaning labor unions.

Mr. Panella told the newspaper during the campaign he was proud to receive the support of the working people and their unions. “As a candidate who has always stood up for the rights of working families, I accept these endorsements with great pride. My family has a long history of involvement with organized labor,” Mr. Panella told the newspaper.

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