As we warned you yesterday, campaign finance reports in the statewide judicial races have been trickling into the Department of State yesterday afternoon. Yesterday was the deadline for filing such reports, though they aren't always posted immediately. (Some candidates -- and there are 12 running for state Supreme Court -- send their reports by mail.)
Data on the Supreme Court race's likely biggest fundraisers -- Pittsburgh Superior Court Judge David Wecht and Philadelphia Judge John Dougherty -- was not available from the Department of State by day's end. Judge Wecht's campaign did, however, issue a release with his report's cover sheet, showing that he raised another $297,881 on top of $278,632 he had on hand at the end of 2014. Judge Dougherty's campaign has reportedly also released a summary of his fundraising: The $707,932 reported would make him far and away the race's biggest fundraiser so far.
Jefferson County Judge John Foradora's own report hasn't gone live, though his campaign released a cover sheet showing him raking in $391,000 in contributions. As we reported today, that gives the rural-county candidate a bit of swagger, even if the campaign acknowledged today that $100,000 of it was from the candidate himself.
Other candidates whose reports have yet to be posted today include that of Democrat Allegheny County Judge Dwayne Woodruff and two Republicans: sitting Supreme Court Justice Correale Stevens and Montour County District Attorney Rebecca Warren.
Most of the reports that have come in, meanwhile, suggest that this race will feature a lot of money from lawyers, most of it coming in denominations of more than $250, supplemented by some money from unions and other sources, as well as loans and self-financing. Not to mention one sizable contribution from a teddy-bear baron.
Christine Donohue, like Wecht a Superior Court judge from Pittsburgh, started the year with $22,518.61, and added another $184,727 to it through the end of March. Supporters included unions, led by a $5,000 gift from Pittsburgh IBEW Local 5, and some local politicos. The firm of Savinis D'Amico & Kane, which as we reported yesterday backed Wecht with more than $30,000 last year, gave Judge Donohue another $20,000.
Philadelphia-based Superior Court Judge Anne E. Lazarus raised $305,633 in the first three months of the year, adding to $32,726.58 raised in 2014. Some $75,000 of her 2015 total was a loan to herself.
Among Republicans, Homestead-born Superior Court judge Cheryl Allen raised $17,135, though most of that was in the form of a $10,000 loan. Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey, meanwhile, raised $56,540.38 Much of that was a single check of $25,000 from the PA Future Fund, a pro-business political committee.
Adams County President Judge Mike George reaped $546,880.24 -- $500,000 of which came from a single source. On the contribution forms, Gary Lowenthal identifies himself as a "teacher" at Mount St. Mary's College, but before you dust off your CV in hopes of landing a teaching gig, be advised: Mr. Lowenthal apparently made his money through a collectibles business, Boyds Bears and Friends, which he later sold.
Rounding out the field of Republicans, Superior Court judge -- and endorsed Republican -- Judith Olson raised just $1,110 through March 30. $1,000 of that came from Hillman Foundation executive Carl G. Grefenstette.