We all watched in horror as our former president challenged outcome after outcome in the 2020 general election. It was the judges who stood between us and endless court battles; they shut it down and stood up for democracy. We MUST elect fair-minded judges at the local level because they get promoted and end up in the pool of candidates who may one day be considered for the U.S. Supreme Court. (Which we also saw become a victim to the former president’s and Mitch McConnell’s shenanigans.)
The candidates for judicial positions are not designated by party and in MontCo, we have to fill in an oval for each position on the ticket, and so it’s more important than ever that we know WHO to cast our votes for who will rule in the favor of justice, one case at a time. Please take some time to learn more about these candidates for judicial positions at the state and local level.
For more information about each candidate, click on the text link next to their photo.
Judge Maria McLaughlin
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Judge
Judge McLaughlin is currently a judge of the Superior Court. Prior to that, she served as a judge on the Court of Common Pleas for six years, Family Division, of utmost importance to her was continuing to safeguard the rights of children. Earlier in her career, she served in the Philadelphia DA’s office for 19 years where she dealt with criminal defense, real estate and civil matters. Judge McLaughlin is known for her commitment and compassion both on and off the bench.
In 2017, Judge McLaughlin led the ticket amongst nine candidates statewide for a seat on the Superior Court. She serves as liaison between the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the PA Superior Court. This role has been crucial throughout the pandemic. She is a big proponent of specialty courts to address veteran matters, mental health, and drug treatment. If elected to Supreme Court she is also interested in an Autism initiative which is personal to the judge.
Judge Timika Lane
Judge Lane has served since 2013. In 2021 Judge Lane received a rating of “Recommended” for Superior Court by the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
She is presently a judge on the Court of Common Pleas, assigned to the Major Trials program in the Criminal Division. Here, Judge Lane is the sole judge handling human trafficking cases. In addition, she handles serious felony criminal matters including but not limited to, domestic/family violence, sexual assault, attempted murder, aggravated assault, arson, robbery and burglary. She also handles Investigative Grand Jury matters and oversees the Uplift, Fast Track and Branching Up (formerly Roots to Re-entry) programs.
Judge Lori A. Dumas
Commonwealth Court (vote for two)
Judge Dumas has served as a judge in Philadelphia for 18 years. She served as a Common Pleas Court Judge in the Philadelphia Family Court – Juvenile Division for the majority of her tenure where she fought for fair and equal justice for Philadelphia’s most vulnerable children and families.
She has served in the Criminal Division and is currently assigned to the Civil Division. She led many of the initiatives that were created to enhance the work of the court and to ensure that system children were the beneficiaries of some of the most innovative and effective services to lead them to success. She has presided over thousands of trials, both jury and non-jury.
Judge David Lee Spurgeon
Commonwealth Court (vote for two)
Judge David Spurgeon has served in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas since 2016. Assigned to the Family Division, he handles all matters involving children and families. He has been recognized as a national expert on domestic violence and has been named a Judicial Fellow by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges for his judicial leadership. He currently serves as the Chair of the Family Violence Work Group for the 5th Judicial District.
Judge A. Nicole Philips
Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas
Judge Nicole Phillips has spent her career as an advocate in the courtroom, a servant in her community, and as a mentor to young people. She is a resident of MontCo whose children have been students in the Montgomery County schools. She has spent the majority of her nearly 20-year career as a prosecutor.
Nicole has tried hundreds of jury and bench trials in local and federal courts. Currently, she is a Partner at Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, LLP. Nicole’s devotion to community and commitment to public service are why she wishes to use her experience and expertise to now serve the people of Montgomery County as a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas.
Judge Cathleen Kelly Rebar
Montgomery County Magisterial District Judge, District 38-1-20
Judge Rebar is seeking her third term as Magisterial District Judge in MontCo. Over the past 12 years of service in her role as a Magisterial District Judge, she has handled over 50,000 matters, including traffic citations, landlord-tenant matters, civil cases, summary citations and criminal matters including high-profile matters with national exposure. Judge Rebar has earned a reputation as effective and fair to all who appear before her.
Judge Rebar has provided hundreds of hours of community service annually and has initiated and supported multiple community sponsored programs aimed at serving the under-privileged and under-served members of the community while also supporting local businesses.
Democratic Jury Commissioner Joanne Cisco Olszewski.
Montgomery County Jury Selection Commission
Joanne is the sitting Democratic Jury Commissioner for MontCo. She was first elected jury commissioner in 2005 and is running for reelection again this year.
The Montgomery County Jury Selection Commission is responsible for providing a qualified pool of jurors to ensure the right of all citizens to a trial by an impartial jury. Citizens who fulfill their jury service obligation are continuing a tradition established under the United States Constitution over 200 years ago.