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Veteran judge faces Pa. primary challenge

April 22, 2005|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Incumbent Magisterial District Judge David E. Hawbaker and challenger Lynda Beckwith, both registered Republicans, are seeking the bipartisan nomination for a six-year term in the May 17 primary election. Judicial candidates may run on both party ballots.

Hawbaker is the incumbent and has served in the position for 24 years. Beckwith has worked in district justice offices for several years.

Both Hawbaker and Beckwith have cross-filed for the primary, meaning they will appear on Republican and Democratic ballots. One candidate potentially could win both nominations or the candidates could split them and run against each other again in the general election.

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The sixth judicial district is the townships of Peters, Montgomery, Warren and St. Thomas, and the Borough of Mercersburg.

The general election is Nov. 8.




Lynda Beckwith

Address: 4334 Fort Loudon Road, Mercersburg, PA 17236

Age: 40

Occupation: Until recently, she was employed in the Magisterial District Court of Greencastle and Antrim Township, first as a clerk and then as office supervisor. She resigned in order to run.

Previous experience as elected official: None

Experience that should help you if elected: Employed for six years in the Magisterial District Court of Greencastle and Antrim Township; certified by the Minor Judiciary Education Board to perform the duties of a Magisterial District judge; previously served as a certified Pennsylvania State deputy constable, serving process for the courts.

Why voters should support you: "Because they should have a judge who comes into court unbiased; a fair and honest person who can hear the case based on the facts."




David E. Hawbaker

Address: 4012 Fort Loudon Road, Mercersburg, PA 17236

Age: 54

Occupation: Magisterial District Judge

Previous experience as elected official: 24 years as district justice.

Experience that should help you if elected: "I have 1,000 hours of continuing education in legal procedures and substantive law from the Minor Judiciary Education Board. Dickinson School of Law, Wilson College and Penn State."

Why voters should support you: "Education, experience, fairness and sound fiscal management. We manage a quarter of a million dollars through this office each year, and we have never had negative audit findings. I'm the parent of three children and have a particular interest in young people. I pioneered community service as alternative sentencing for juvenile offenders up to age 16. It is very successful and has been expanded in the county."

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