Along with those seeking the Democratic committee endorsement -- or not -- for Pittsburgh mayor, there's a sizable group of people looking for party help in getting elected judge. Getting the party machinery behind you doesn't have the heft it once did in high profile races like those for mayor or county exec, but in Common Pleas Court it actually does give candidates a step up because most voters have no idea who any of these people are.
There are 4 spots on the bench open and 16 people going for the Dem endorsement. Some of those who don't get the party nod will drop out of the race before having to file officially as a candidate.
Getting the endorsement is a tough job, too -- since judge is a countywide position candidates have to travel to events all over Allegheny County (not just in the city as a mayoral hopeful has to do) to woo Democratic committeepeople in the runup to the March 10 endorsement vote, oftentimes hitting multiple events per night in different corners of the county.
Those running for the Dem judge endorsement are:
Eleanor Bush; William Caye; Pat Connelly; Marcia Cooper; Paul Cozza; Barbara Ernsberger; Marvin Leibowitz; Joseph Luvara; PJ Murray; Jennifer Satler; Richard Schubert; Craig Stephens; Mark Tranquilli; Mike Wojcik.
UPDATE: Marc Daffner is running too. His name was accidentally left off the committee's list. A previous version of this post said Bill Mullen is on the judge list, but he's running again for sheriff. Our apologies.
Current judge Bill Ward -- a Republican appointed to an open seat by Gov. Corbett -- will likely run too. Candidates are allowed to cross-file on both party ballots if they get enough petition signatures.