A Whirlwind September

( – promoted by John Morgan)

It is hard to believe that 25 days have already passed since the Pennsylvania Democratic Party nominated me to the open fourth spot on the November 3rd ballot for Judge of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. Since then I have been running around our fine state trying to meet as many voters as possible.  I was only given 65 days between my nomination and the General Election in which to get the message out, but November 3rd IS my birthday, and I’m hoping that will bring me some good karma!

Some of you may remember me from earlier this year, when I considered running for the Supreme Court.  While I had a lot of support from progressives across Pennsylvania, I came to believe that a primary campaign between Judge Jack Panella and me would badly harm the winner’s chances of victory in November.  In such a critical election, in which control of the Supreme Court is up for grabs, I felt we as a party could not afford a primary battle, and I withdrew from that race in favor of Judge Panella.

More than 6 months later, I unexpectedly had the opportunity to stand for nomination for the seat on the Superior Court created by Judge Maureen Lally-Green’s resignation. I was thrilled to be able to join a great Democratic ticket with Judge Panella, my fellow Superior Court candidates Judges Bob Colville and Anne Lazarus, and Assistant District Attorney Kevin McCarthy, and Commonwealth Court candidates Barbara Ernsberger & Linda Judson.

The state committee meeting at which I was added to the ballot was an exciting time for my husband Mark Tratenberg and me. Each of our prospective Democratic candidates for Governor next year spoke at the picnic on Friday and Senator Specter and Congressman Sestak were on hand as well. All of the state committee people in attendance were revved up and ready to go for the judicial elections this fall and the intense season of politicking we have in store for us next year as well. With a group of activists as intense and excited as those I met and our new and impressive voter registration advantage, I am truly optimistic about our party’s and our ticket’s prospects this fall.

However, I know that I especially, having such little time to campaign, have to work diligently to meet as many voters and get to as many parades, picnics, and potlucks as I can.  Which is why, right after state committee ended, I made my way out to the Cumberland County Democrats picnic later that day.  Even on a Sunday afternoon at the end of August when most people are on vacation, the Cumberland Dems had a great turnout and even local press.  I am always impressed by the kinds of questions I am asked at these local party events – many of our party’s grassroots activists are very well versed in the role of the courts and their judges.

Since that weekend back at the end of August I have been to more local events than I can count, but I realize that there is no way I can meet everyone I need to before Election Day.  That is why I’ll be writing these diaries periodically throughout the campaign – to let you all know what I am doing to make sure we elect Democratic judges this fall, and so that even if I don’t meet you at the next candidates’ night I attend you can learn a little bit about me and my campaign for Superior Court.

Don’t worry, I promise to keep my future diaries shorter! I think next time I’ll talk about the great time I had over Labor Day weekend with all of the hard working men and women of the labor movement that represent what makes our party truly great.

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