No surprises in Phila. races for judgeships Democrat-endorsed candidates swept. The register of wills, clerk of courts and sheriff were reelected.

Posted: November 05, 2003

There was little suspense yesterday in the election of Philadelphia judges, row officers and city commissioners. There were no upsets or surprises.

It was a sweep for Democrat-endorsed candidates as voters chose 11 Common Pleas judges, one Municipal Court judge, one Traffic Court judge and three city commissioners, and reelected the sheriff, register of wills, and clerk of courts.

Many of the judicial candidates were cross-endorsed by the Democratic and Republican Parties, which left little doubt as to their election. Voters also retained, or reelected, 14 Common Pleas judges, seven Municipal Court judges and four Traffic Court judges.

Ronald R. Donatucci, a Democrat, won a seventh term as register of wills, defeating his Republican opponent, businesswoman Anita E. Zalewski.

Democrat John Green won reelection to a fifth term as sheriff, defeating Republican David H. Richards, a sporting-goods salesman.

Clerk of Courts Vivian T. Miller won a fourth term, defeating Republican challenger Marcus Mitchell, a West Philadelphia consultant.

City Commissioners Margaret M. Tartaglione, a Democrat, and Joseph J. Duda, a Republican, won reelection. Democrat Edgar A. Howard Jr. was elected to fill a vacancy on the three-member panel, which oversees city elections.

By law, one of the commission's three seats is reserved for the minority party.

In the city's judicial elections, nine candidates for Common Pleas Court were endorsed by both parties, making their election all but certain.

They are Brenda Frazier Clemons, Leslie Fleisher, Ramy Isaac Djerassi, Lori A. Dumas, Jeffrey P. Minehart, Joseph A. Dych, Paula Patrick, Nina Wright Padilla and Holly J. Ford.

Two other Democrats, Doris Pechkurow and Joel S. Johnson Jr., defeated Republican candidates Thomas Nocella and Brad Moss.

Three of the newly elected Common Pleas judges - Fleisher, Dumas and Johnson - had been rated "not recommended" by the Philadelphia Bar Association's Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention.

Gerard A. Kosinski, cross-endorsed by both parties, won election to the city's Municipal Court.

Earlene Green Clark, a Democrat, defeated Republican Michael McAleer for a seat on Philadelphia's Traffic Court.

The Common Pleas judges retained for another 10-year term were Jacqueline F. Allen, Genece E. Brinkley, Tama Myers Clark, Steven R. Geroff, D. Webster Keogh, William J. Manfredi, Frederica A. Massiah Jackson, Rayford A. Means, Sandra Mazer Moss, Joseph D. O'Keefe, Albert W. Sheppard Jr., Carolyn Temin, Allan L. Tereshko and Thomas Watkins.

Municipal Court judges retained for six-year terms were Robert S. Blasi, Frank T. Brady, Gwendolyn A. Conway, Barbara S. Gilbert, Lydia Y. Kirkland, Marsha H. Neifield and Craig M. Washington.

Traffic Court judges retained for four-year terms were Bernice DeAngelis, Joseph A. Howlett, Francis E. Kelly and Fortunato N. Perri Sr.

Four of the judges reelected had been rated "not recommended" by the bar association's commission.

They were Common Pleas Judges Brinkley, Myers Clark and Watkins and Municipal Judge Conway.

Contact staff writer L. Stuart Ditzen at 215-854-2431 or sditzen@phillynews.com.

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