HARRISBURG -- The future majority of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court could still go either way after only Democrat Seamus P. McCaffery was confirmed to one of two new seats at yesterday's general election.
Democrat Debra Todd and Republican Maureen Lally-Green were almost deadlocked in the race for the second open seat on the top bench. Republican incumbent Thomas G. Saylor also easily won a retention vote yesterday, leaving the SC with three Democrats and three Republicans and the final seat still in doubt.
With 93 percent of the vote counted, McCaffery had 30 percent of the vote, Green 26 percent and Lally-Green 24 percent, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported this morning. The fourth candidate, Republican Michael Krancer, appears out of the running with under 20 percent.
A win for Todd would shift the high court's current majority to 4-3 Democrat; a Lally-Green victory would maintain the present 4-3 Republican majority. Another Republican, Chief Justice Ralph Cappy, will retire at the end of this year and his replacement will be appointed by Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell.
Lally-Green likely received an electoral boost from a series of 'character-based' ads that touted her record as tough on crime, LNL reported. She steadily picked up votes on Todd throughout last night as votes from more conservative outlying and rural areas began to trickle in, the Post-Gazette reported.