I am supporting Ronald McGlaughlin for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Centre County. The Republican candidate to replace Judge Bradley Lunsford, who is retiring from the Bench at the end of his term, has been a mentor to me since I started practicing law. When I left the Public Defender Office and started my own firm, Ron was always available to answer questions. No matter how odd the inquiry, Ron always has some sage advice to offer. Very few attorneys know more about the process and procedures in the Court of Common Pleas.
Both of the candidates for Judge are well-respected attorneys, and we really can’t go wrong with either of them on the Bench. All things being equal, I find myself looking to the needs of the court.
It is no secret that we’ve been roiled by turmoil, disruption, and acrimony for months now. Without rehashing the drama here, it is sufficient to note that, of our four judges, only two are hearing criminal cases. That, combined with the District Attorney’s decision to pursue stiffer penalties for all offenses, has led to an inflated number of cases in the system. Frankly, we are struggling here.
This is where the differences in the candidates come into play.
Katie Oliver is a smart lawyer, and a fine litigator. Most of her experience has been in Federal court, however, which is a distinctly different beast from the Courts of Common Pleas. Ron McGlaughlin, on the other hand, has been practicing criminal law for two decades. In the long-run, either of these attorneys would be fine jurists and a credit to the Bench. Ron will be prepared to handle criminal cases from day one, and that is why I am supporting him for Judge.