Jon Campisi Oct. 28, 2013, 7:13am


Republican Vic Stabile, a Harrisburg attorney and former Cumberland

County GOP chairman, has a financial lead on his Democratic opponent for an open seat on one of Pennsylvania’s two lower-tier appellate courts, the Associated Press reported on Friday.

Stabile is surging ahead in the money department, with the mid-state lawyer having raised more than $250,000 to Democrat Jack McVay’s reported campaign chest of $96,000, according to the AP.

Stabile and McVay, a judge on the Allegheny County Court of Common

Pleas, are vying for an open seat on the Pennsylvania Superior Court, which sits just beneath the state Supreme Court, and hears appeals in both civil and criminal cases.

The AP, which cited campaign finance reports the two candidates filed late last week, reported that Stabile’s contributions include $50,000 from the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association’s political committee, $30,000 from Gov. Tom Corbett, $20,000 from Republican leaders in the state’s General Assembly, and $2,500 from the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

McVay’s financial backing has come from the likes of organized labor groups, which kicked in just under $30,000, the AP reported.

The race for the open seat on the Superior Court, caused by the elevation of former Superior Court President Judge Correale Stevens to the Supreme Court, is the only statewide contest on the Nov. 5 election ballot, which consists mostly of municipal races.

The Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Judicial Evaluation Commission gave positive endorsements to both Stabile and McVay when it issued “recommended” ratings to both candidates earlier this month.

On his campaign website, Stabile, a resident of Carlisle, Pa., says his judicial philosophy is to have judges “fairly apply the law equitably to all parties appearing before the court regardless of any political, social or economic status.”

Legislating from the bench, Stabile says, is not appropriate in his view.

Stabile, a graduate of the Dickinson School of Law, previously served as an appellate clerk in Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court, as a deputy attorney general in the trial division in the Attorney General’s Office, and as a private attorney with the Dilworth Paxson law firm.

He is currently still employed by Dilworth Paxson, focusing his practice on complex commercial and business litigation, according to a biography on his website.

“While at Dilworth, he has continued to successfully argue and litigate cases in the appellate courts of Pennsylvania,” the site reads.

McVay, who attended Duquesne University’s School of Law, worked as a law clerk in the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, and he previously spent time with the county’s law department.

McVay also worked as an assistant Allegheny County solicitor.

The Pittsburgh resident was elected to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas in 2007.

In an editorial published last week, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette endorsed McVay because of his judicial experience.

“While it is not essential to have been a judge to join an appellate court, such a background does recommend itself as a natural progression,” the editorial states.

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