PAMPAC Pulse: 2017 Pennsylvania Election Recap

Last Updated: Dec 20, 2017

Check out this 2017 Pennsylvania election recap from The Pennsylvania Medical Political Action Committee (PAMPAC), the political arm of the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court
Justice Sallie Mundy (R) defeated Judge Dwayne D. Wooduff (D) in a contested partisan election for a seat on the court. Justice Mundy was appointed in 2016 and filed to stand in a partisan election in order to serve for a full term. 

Chief Justice Thomas Saylor (R) and Justice Debra Todd (D) were both retained in order to serve further terms. 

Pennsylvania Superior Court
Judge Jacqueline Shogan (R) was retained and Judges Maria McLaughlin (D), Deborah A. Kunselman (D), Mary P. Murray (R), and Carolyn H. Nichols (D) were elected. 


One of the largest bipartisan political action committees in the state, PAMPAC is made up of members of PAMED and its Alliance who are interested in making a positive contribution to the medical profession through the political process. PAMPAC supports pro-medicine candidates running for the Pennsylvania state legislature or statewide office.


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Judge McLaughlin currently serves as the co-chair on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and as the vice-president of the Nicholas A. Cipriani Family Law American Inn of Court. Judge McLaughlin presides over both family law and criminal law matters.

Judge Kunselman has served on the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County since 2006.

Judge Murray has served as a Magisterial District Judge for the past 13 years. During this time, she has ruled on civil, criminal, traffic, and non-traffic cases.

Judge Nichols was elected to the Court of Common Pleas in 2011, where she was assigned to the Criminal Trial Division. 

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court
Judges Ellen H. Ceisler (D) and Christine Fizzano Cannon (R) were elected. 

Judge Ceisler currently serves as a Judge on the Court of Common Pleas, Major Crimes Trial Division. Prior experience includes serving as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia.

Judge Fizzano Cannon was elected by the citizens of Delaware County to a ten-year term on the Court of Common Pleas and sworn into office in 2012. She heads and serves in the Civil Trial Section, handling civil and equity matters. 

The judicial branch's decisions have a far-reaching effect on the practice of medicine, from determining evidence that can be admitted in a malpractice lawsuit to making decisions about a physician's license to declaring what constitutes obtaining a patient's informed consent. 

Looking Ahead to 2018
The 2018 Pennsylvania gubernatorial election will take place on Nov. 6, 2018 to elect the Governor of Pennsylvania, concurrently with the election of Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and various Pa. statewide and local elections. 

A total of 25 seats of the Pennsylvania State Senate's 50 seats are up for election. Pa. state senators serve staggered, four-year terms and half of the Senate is up for election every two years. 

All 203 seats within the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are up for election on Nov. 6. Pennsylvania state representatives serve two-year terms, with all seats up for election every two years.

The commitment of PAMPAC members allows PAMPAC to continue to support physician-friendly and pro-medicine advocates within the statewide appellate courts and state legislature.

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