York County, PA


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Dwayne Woodruff

Since 2005, the candidate has served as a judge of the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas where he presides over family and juvenile matters. Upon completion of law school, he was an associate in a large Pittsburgh firm handling product liability and insurance defense. He quickly rose to a level of competence that allowed him to be lead counsel in major cases. He also worked as a certified National Football League player representative. In 1997, he founded his own law firm. He continued to represent professional athletes and handled real estate tax appeals, personal injury and debt collection cases. Most attorneys who appear before him in court describe him as being hard working, well prepared, polite, attentive, and respectful to litigants. The candidate has a strong work ethic and displays a deep respect for his role as a trial judge.  He eagerly learned the law in the Family Division, despite the fact that he had no prior experience in that area of the law. He was appointed a member to the Pennsylvania Interbranch Commission on Juvenile Justice, which was created by the Legislature to investigate the circumstances that lead to corruption in the juvenile court in Luzerne County. With few exceptions, his opinions have been described as clear and concise on appellate review and by attorneys. Throughout his career, he has actively participated in charitable organizations and has received multiple awards acknowledging his outstanding work on behalf of national and local community organizations. Because of his strong work ethic and unquestioned integrity, the commission recommends his candidacy for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Superior Court  -- vote for 4

                                                 Carolyn Nichols

Before being elected to the bench, the candidate worked for the City of Philadelphia Law Department and the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation and maintained a solo legal practice predominantly performing employment law. In 2011, the candidate was elected to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, and since that time has exclusively overseen criminal matters. The candidate’s reputation among her colleagues is one of intelligence, conscientiousness and objectivity. She is known for high ethical standards. Her opinion and legal writings are well reasoned.  The commission initially had concerns that, as a consequence of reposting articles touching on social issues, it could appear as though the candidate were taking a public position on matters that might come before the court. When directly questioned on this issue, the candidate displayed respect for the commission’s concerns and was willing to re-examine her practice. In discussing the issue, the candidate demonstrated a commitment to impartiality and judicial temperament consistent with the highest standards required by the judiciary. Sensitive to the importance of maintaining impartiality, the candidate committed to personally monitor her social media posts during her campaign and to discontinue her use of social media if elected.  Based on the candidate’s strong reputation, experience and judicial temperament, the commission recommends the candidate to serve on the Superior Court.

Judge Maria McLaughlin

Judge McLaughlin earned a law degree from Widener University in 1992.  Prior to her election to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, she was Chief Assistant District Attorney of the Child Support Enforcement Unit. 

She was also a practicing attorney for 19 years within the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. She is a member of the National Association of Women Judges and sits on the Widener University School of Law Alumni Board.

Judge Geoffrey Moulton

Judge Moulton has been married for 22 years and has two daughters. He received his law Degree from Columbia University in 1984.

Before his time on the bench – he was sworn in as a judge on the Superior Court in 2016 – he conducted two critical independent investigations, one involving the raid in Waco, TX and the second investigating Jerry Sandusky for the PA Attorney General’s office.

Has devoted much of his career to public service: served as a law clerk in both Appellate and Circuit Courts, spend 8 years as a federal prosecutor. 
He is also a dedicated conservationist, previously serving on the board of the National Lands Trust.

Judge Deborah Kunselman

Deborah Kunselman is currently a judge on the Beaver County Court of Common Pleas.  She is a 1992 honors' graduate of the University of Notre Dame Law School, and a 1989 high-honor's graduate of the Pennsylvania State University.  Before taking the bench, she practiced for thirteen years in many areas of civil litigation, including personal injury, municipal, family and employment law.  Elected twice to the bench, Judge Kunselman has presided over family, juvenile and civil cases.  "Highly recommended" by the the bar. 

Read the candidate’s questionnaire.

William Caye II

Bill Caye served as Deputy Attorney General in the criminal Prosecutions Section Western Region and clerked for the Honorable Donald Ziegler, Chief USDC, WDPA and the Honorable Cynthia Baldwin, ACCP, Civil Divison.  Bill has extensive experience in private practice and is a graduate of Duquesne University and Duquesne University Law School. Caye has represented children, seniors and working class families fighting for their interests, and has been a champion for disabled workers, and advocate for hardworking families, and a voice to ensure fairness in the judicial process.  

Read the candidate’s questionnaire

Commonwealth Court - vote for two

                                                 Judge Ellen Ceisler

The candidate has been a judge on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas for nine years. During her first five years, she handled criminal trials. She was then assigned to civil motions and more recently to major civil trials. The candidate has a thorough knowledge of the rules of evidence and courtroom procedures. Prior to her being elected to the bench in 2007, she had a diverse work background, including experience as a prosecutor, investigative producer and litigator. She has served as director of the Integrity and Accountability Office of the Philadelphia Police Department and legal adviser to the Sheriff's Office of Philadelphia. Her judicial temperament is one of fairness, thoroughness, independence and integrity. The candidate has administrative experience, which she gained from serving with the Philadelphia City Controllers' Office as a director of the Special Investigations and Fraud Unit. The commission recommends the candidate for the Commonwealth Court.

Read the
candidate’s Bar Association questionnaire.

Todd Eagen

Throughout his career as an attorney, the candidate has been held in high regard by his peers who commend his fairness, industrious work ethic and collegiality. Following graduation from law school, the candidate served as a law clerk to a judge on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Since that time, the candidate has been in private practice with various law firms, focusing on labor and employment law and representing public sector unions with an emphasis on law enforcement unions. The candidate’s writings are clear and concise, and his knowledge of the law is above average. He has a wealth of experience before the Commonwealth Court and extensive experience as an arbitrator in public sector labor disputes. The candidate has participated in local bar association activities and presently serves the community in church activities. Based on his strong intellect, fairness and work ethic, the commission recommends the candidate for the Commonwealth Court.

Read the candidate’s Bar Association's Questionnaire.


Bryan Barbin

Bryan B. Barbin is a Democratic member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing District 71. He was first elected to the chamber in 2008.

Barbin earned his B.A. in economics from the University of Richmond and his J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh Law School. His professional experience includes working as a law clerk for Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Henry X. O'Brien, as Partner at Gleason, McQullian, Barbin and Markovitz, as a Deputy Attorney General in the Tax/Finance Section for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and as counsel for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Has served in all three branches in state government since 1982

Read the  candidate’s questionnaire. 

Joseph Cosgrove

Since July 2016, Judge Cosgrove, a Democrat, has been serving on the Commonwealth Court, having been appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf and confirmed unanimously by Democratic and Republican members of the state Senate. He is running for an elected term on the court this year, and since he’s in office now, he will be ready to continue working for the citizens of Pennsylvania on day one. Prior to taking his seat on the state appellate court, Cosgrove served on the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas from 2010 to 2012 by appointment of then-Gov. Ed Rendell.

Read the candidate’s questionnaire.

W. Timothy Barry

Timothy Barry has practiced municipal and public sector labor and employment law for 37 years.  He has been honored to serve as Solicitor for numberous municipalitites and has advised many communities across the Commonwealth on labor law and relations. This experiense makes him uniquely qualified for the specialized jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Court, which his father, the Honorable Francis A. Barry, helped create. Mr. Barry Is a 1975 Graduate from the University OF Pittsburgh, with a double major in Political Science and English, and a 1979 Graduate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. 

Read the candidate’s questionnaire.

Irene McLaughlin Clark

After graduating from law school, the candidate has been employed in a variety of positions handling civil litigation and divorce and custody proceedings. In 1993, the candidate was appointed to the Pittsburgh Municipal Court, where she continued to serve until 2003. Since that time, the candidate served in a variety of positions and maintained a private law practice addressing the problem of municipal blight.  She has become a leading authority in the field, as an attorney, representing clients in blight revitalization efforts and as an advocate, counseling state and local organizations on reforming laws and policies related to blight. 

Sandra Thompson, ESQ.

It is with great pleasure that I announce my decision to enter the race for Judge of the York County Court of Common Pleas. I am qualified, experienced and ready to accept the challenges a Judgeship will bring. I will make Fair, Firm and Insightful decisions from this honorable bench. I have proven my commitment to the York County community through thirty years of community service. In my eighteen years of litigation experience which includes civil, criminal and family issues, I have maintained the goal of helping people overcome their circumstances through responsibility and accountability.
I have served justice through law enforcement as an Adult Probation Officer and an Assistant District Attorney and criminal defense as an Assistant Public Defender and a private attorney. I have worked in most aspects of family and civil law as an attorney with Central Pennsylvania Legal Services (now Mid-Penn Legal Services) and as a solo private attorney for fourteen years. Through my community and legal experience, I have advised small businesses. Through my civil rights practice, I have helped restore employment rights and compensation for all persons regardless of race or gender 
An open house to meet the candidate and to sign petitions will be held Saturday, February 25, 2017 3:00-5:00pm at 351 East Princess St., York, PA 17403. The campaign office hours are Monday through Friday from 6:00-8:00pm.


The Democratic Party of York County does not endorse any candidate prior to the Primary Election. 

Any profile of any Democratic candidate which appears on this site is provided as a service to Democratic voters.