Connelly, McGinley, Spurgeon gain Allegheny County judicial nominations
May 17, 2017
Janice Crompton / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Three candidates will square off for two seats on the Allegheny County Common Pleas Court in November.
Lawyer Patrick Connelly of Lawrenceville won Republican and Democratic nominations. He was joined on the Republican side by lawyer Mary McGinley of Squirrel Hill and on the Democratic side by appointed Judge David Lee Spurgeon of Mckeesport, who is seeking a full, 10-year term.
Each party was choosing from among six candidates, all of whom have cross-filed. The nominees will face off in the Nov. 7 general election for two open seats on the bench.
Judge Spurgeon, 46, of McKeesport, was appointed to fill a temporary vacancy on the bench last year and served for 18 years as a prosecutor with the county district attorney’s office. He was the first prosecutor in the county to pursue violators of Protection From Abuse orders. He finished a distant on the Republican side.
Mr. Connelly 49, of Lawrenceville, has his own practice and has served as a trial lawyer for 23 years, primarily in civil litigation. He is a certified mediator, and was appointed by the federal judiciary as a mediator, arbitrator and neutral evaluator.
Mr. Connelly was chairman of the City of Pittsburgh’s Ethics Hearing Board, and currently serves as a hearing officer for the Allegheny Retirement Board.
Ms. McGinley, 39, of Squirrel Hill, is a partner at Meyer Unkovic and Scott LLP specializing in representing families and individuals in estate litigation matters, and companies in contractual and other commercial disputes.
Ms. McGinley comes from a well-known family in legal circles. Her father, John “Jack” McGinley has been a lawyer for nearly 40 years and her uncle, Judge Bernard L. McGinley, has served on the state Commonwealth Court for 30 years.
There are currently 41 judges in the county court split into four divisions: civil, criminal, family and orphan’s.
The salary for a new judge is $180,000, and the term is 10 years, after which judges face retention elections.
Other candidates in the race included Jessica Lynch, 50, of Aspinwall; Pauline M. Calabrese, 54, of Penn Hills; and Rosemary Crawford, 53, of Hampton.