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Two seek district judge post

October 28, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

PLEASANT HALL, Pa. -- Chambersburg-area voters will find few local contested races on their ballots Tuesday beyond a magisterial district judgeship in District 39-3-03.

David Plum and Carol Anne Redding are both knocking on doors in the final days of their campaigns. Voters will choose one of them to serve in the currently vacant magisterial district judge position for a six-year term.

The district encompasses Hamilton, Letterkenny, Lurgan, Fannett and Metal townships.

Plum, 44, took the Magisterial District Judge Certification Course before announcing his candidacy in late 2008.

"I understand and respect the values of our county," Plum said, saying he would treat everyone fairly.

Redding, 49, said she has 19 years of legal experience, with 16 of those years as an attorney in Franklin County. She said her experiences include municipal, criminal and civil cases.

"Just from that perspective, I feel I'm well qualified," she said.

Both said the Pleasant Hall office, which was used by Richard Alloway before he became a state senator, seems to operate efficiently. They also said they want to provide constituents with easy-to-understand information about the process that happens when you take a complaint before a magisterial district judge.

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Redding said it's important to meet as many people as possible during the campaign, which she wants to keep non-partisan.

"Residents of the county should know who their district judge is," she said.

"For most people, it's the only (court) process they'll ever see," said Plum, who owns storage units.

Both candidates said they would treat the $81,000-a-year position as a full-time job, with Redding saying she'd give up her private practice.

"'Are you going to be available?' is the most common question" from residents, Plum said.

Redding, a Democrat, said she's been endorsed by Fraternal Order of Police Keystone Lodge 41, Franklin County (Pa.) Sheriff Dane Anthony and retired magisterial district judge Jim Campbell. She mentioned "pretty serious issues with my opponent," referring to criminal charges filed against Plum.

Charges filed in Maryland in 2000 and 2002 were each expunged after periods of good behavior. Plum had been charged with solicitation of a prostitute and driving under the influence in separate incidents.

Plum, a Republican, addressed both matters in an earlier Herald-Mail interview, saying he picked up an undercover officer he believed was a hitchhiker in August 2000 and he was stopped by a bicycle cop who did not administer breathalyzer or blood-alcohol tests in 2002.

"My response to it is that I (wasn't) the same person I am now," Plum said in April.

Plum said he's "a normal person" who enjoys meeting and talking with people.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Voters can find information at www.co.franklin.pa.us.

Other judicial race



Kelly Rock, who serves as Magisterial District Judge in District 39-3-07, is running unopposed Tuesday.

Court of Common Pleas Judge Carol L. Van Horn is up for retention in the 39th Judicial District that serves Franklin and Fulton counties. A Yes vote affords Van Horn an additional 10-year term.

Shawn Meyers and Angela Rosenberry Krom both won high-profile races in the primary for two open judge positions in the 39th Judicial District of the Court of Common Pleas. Their names are the only ones on the ballot.

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