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Multiple Republican Candidates Vying For Open Pennsylvania Supreme Court Seat

HARRISBURG (KDKA) -- One seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is up for election this year.

That's to succeed former Chief Justice Tom Saylor, a Republican, who retires at the end of this year.

There is a heated battle for the Republican nomination for this seat.

With only two Republicans on the 7-member state Supreme Court, Republicans desperately want to hold onto this seat.

But first, they need to choose their nominee among three judges, each of whom claims to be more qualified than the others.

"I have the most appellate judicial experience of anyone running," Judge Kevin Brobson told KDKA political editor Jon Delano.

Brobson of Dauphin County is the President Judge of the Commonwealth Court and is endorsed by the state Republican Party.

"Judges have to be judges and they should not cross the line into other branches of government," says Brobson.

"Our job as judges is not to save you from silly laws passed by the legislature. Judges are supposed to apply the law as written."

Republicans accuse the current Supreme Court of being too activist, rewriting state election laws, and drawing congressional districts.

"They have become heavily left, liberal. I see that there's a bit more activism on the bench than it was before," says Judge Paula Patrick.

Patrick serves on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and calls herself a conservative Republican, but she says she brings something else missing from the current Court.

"There is no diversity on that court whatsoever in terms of racial or ethnic diversity at all, and I think it is time," says Patrick.

"I am the only candidate I know that had a tweet from President Donald Trump, and Donald Trump actually tweeted that I was a brilliant woman of courage," says Judge Patricia McCullough.

McCullough of Allegheny County serves on the Commonwealth Court, and she says no one beats her work on the bench for upholding conservative principles.

"I was the only judge in the entire country to enter an order to halt the certification of the 2020 presidential election results," says McCullough.

While McCullough, Patrick, and Brobson battle it out for the GOP nomination, Commonwealth Court Judge Maria McLaughlin, an unopposed Democrat, calls the attacks on the state Supreme Court "language that just gets people excited."

The primary is Tuesday, May 18.

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