Did you hear there’s an election this Tuesday? People in New Jersey are aware — especially since the governor’s race between incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine and Republican challenger Chris Christie has been one of the nastiest in the nation. The non-gay press really hasn’t covered LGBT issues in the race. PGN reached out to Christie early in the campaign. He wouldn’t personally talk to a gay newspaper, but his spokesperson told us he’s opposed to gay marriage. Corzine, on the other hand, has campaigned on the issue publicly. While Christie hasn’t attended any gay events, Corzine headlined the Garden State Equality Dinner. One candidate runs from us, the other embraces us. It’s clear where our votes should go: Jon Corzine.
Two races in the city directly impact the LGBT community. The first is the race to replace Lynne Abraham for district attorney. Democrat Seth Williams, as a former assistant D.A., has the vision of what the D.A.’s office could do to reduce crime rather than just prosecute it. He’s addressed the needs of the LGBT community and how the D.A.’s office would work with us. His Republican opponent, Michael Untermeyer, stumbled on the issue of race in the judicial system in a recent debate. In a city as diverse as Philadelphia, it is a fatal flaw. For our future: Seth Williams.
The other notable race in Philadelphia is for city controller, where incumbent Alan Butkovitz faces Republican Al Schmidt. Butkovitz has proven his abilities in the office, while his opponent hasn’t even attempted to issue a press release. Alan Butkovitz.
PENNSYLVANIA Supreme Court: There is no other race as important in Pennsylvania. This year’s election will determine control of the Supreme Court between Republicans and Democrats. As you know, state Supreme Courts throughout the country have made important decisions about gay rights in the past decade. Jack Panella not only boasts a stellar judicial career, but he also epitomizes judicial temperament. His opponent, Republican Joan Orie Melvin, was recently criticized for taking donations from trial lawyers after she criticized Panella for doing it. The court needs stellar — not gutter — politics. Jack Panella for Supreme Court.
— Superior Court: Ann Lazarus, Robert Colville and Kevin McCarthy — Commonwealth Court: Barbara Erensberger and Linda Judson — Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas: There are currently 19 Republican — and zero Democratic — judges on the bench in Montgomery County. With seven open seats, however, voters can bring change and balance to the bench. Our choices: Cheryl Austin, Joel Bernbaum, Richard Haaz, Jeff Lindy, Lois Murphy, Michael Shields, Ann Thornburg Weiss. — Philadelphia Common Pleas: Adam Beloff, Diane Thompson, Dan Anders, Angeles Roca, Robert Coleman, Donna Woelper and Roxanne Covington — Philadelphia Municipal Court: Dawn Segal, Pat Dugan, Joe Waters and Charles Hayden