Northeast Times

Butkovitz to face three opponents in Democratic primary

City Con­trol­ler Alan Butkovitz will be fa­cing three op­pon­ents in the May 21 Demo­crat­ic primary.

Butkovitz, of Castor Gar­dens, will be seek­ing his third four-year term.

The chal­lengers will be Mi­chael P. Wil­li­ams and two North­east nat­ives, Brett Man­del and Mark Zecca.

In 2009, Butkovitz sur­vived a tough three-way primary that also in­cluded Man­del.

The win­ner of the Demo­crat­ic primary will face Re­pub­lic­an Terry Tracy.

Un­like Butkovitz, Dis­trict At­tor­ney Seth Wil­li­ams has a free ride in the primary. In the gen­er­al elec­tion, he’ll meet Re­pub­lic­an Daniel Al­varez, a Somer­ton res­id­ent.

The dead­line for can­did­ates to sub­mit their nom­in­at­ing pe­ti­tions was March 12.

In the race for three seats on the city’s troubled Traffic Court, 41 people turned in sig­na­tures to ap­pear on the bal­lot.

The Re­pub­lic­ans have only two can­did­ates for Traffic Court, Ella Butcher of Burholme and Chris Vo­gler of West May­fair.

Can­did­ates for city courts can file on both ma­jor party bal­lots, and Butcher will be among 40 names on the Demo­crat­ic tick­et.

Oth­er North­east res­id­ents in the mix for a Traffic Court seat are Fox Chase’s Donna DeR­ose and Fred Mari, Rhawn­hurst’s Ry­an Mul­vey, Sum­mer­dale’s Jose Figueroa and Somer­ton’s Dav­id Mamikonyan.

The fu­ture of Traffic Court, loc­ated at 8th and Spring Garden streets, is un­clear.

Twelve people, in­clud­ing nine cur­rent or former judges, were in­dicted on Jan. 31 in an al­leged traffic tick­et-fix­ing scheme.

The U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice said ward lead­ers, loc­al politi­cians and Demo­crat­ic City Com­mit­tee of­fi­cials con­tac­ted the de­fend­ants for pref­er­en­tial treat­ment.

Three former judges already have pleaded guilty.

The Pennsylvania Sen­ate voted un­an­im­ously to ab­ol­ish the court and trans­fer traffic vi­ol­a­tion ad­ju­dic­a­tion to Mu­ni­cip­al Court. The House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee plans a hear­ing on the bills, and the full House is ex­pec­ted to even­tu­ally pass the meas­ures.

To change the state Con­sti­tu­tion to ab­ol­ish Traffic Court, the bill would have to be ap­proved in two con­sec­ut­ive le­gis­lat­ive ses­sions, be signed by the gov­ernor and pass a statewide voter ref­er­en­dum.

The trans­fer of ad­ju­dic­a­tion to Mu­ni­cip­al Court could take place 60 days after pas­sage by the House and the gov­ernor’s sig­na­ture.

Phil­adelphia voters also will elect six judges to Com­mon Pleas Court and three to Mu­ni­cip­al Court.

Thirty-six can­did­ates filed for Com­mon Pleas Court on the Demo­crat­ic side. Ap­poin­ted Judge Ken Pow­ell and Anne Mar­ie Coyle, of the Far North­east, cross-filed on the Re­pub­lic­an tick­et.

Eight­een can­did­ates filed for Mu­ni­cip­al Court on the Demo­crat­ic bal­lot. Pow­ell cross-filed as a Re­pub­lic­an.

Once bal­lot po­s­i­tions are de­term­ined, party en­dorse­ments are made and nom­in­at­ing pe­ti­tion chal­lenges are settled, the num­ber of Com­mon Pleas and Mu­ni­cip­al Court ju­di­cial can­did­ates will de­cline.

Statewide, voters will elect a mem­ber of Su­per­i­or Court.

Jack McVay Jr. and Joseph C. Wa­ters will square off for the Demo­crat­ic nom­in­a­tion.

Vic Sta­bile and Robert Wyda will com­pete for the Re­pub­lic­an nod.

The parties have en­dorsed Wa­ters, a Mu­ni­cip­al Court judge and re­tired Phil­adelphia po­lice cap­tain, and Sta­bile, a Har­ris­burg law­yer. ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­ing@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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