My campaign is focused on the three main pillars that make up the best judges.
Integrity. Leadership. Compassion.
Integrity comes first, because without it, a person does not have the moral fiber and character to know if the decision he makes is the right one. Integrity is vital, because a judge must be beyond reproach. Integrity, as is so often stated, is doing the right thing even when no one is watching. Integrity is at the heart of my current work. I may not always agree with my clients’ actions or life choices, but I never hesitate to work for them to the best of my ability, because the Pennsylvania and United States Constitution demands it, and my integrity as a lawyer and as a human being demands it.
Leadership is that rare quality that can often be hard to define, but most of us know good leadership when we see it. To me, leadership is being strong for what is right, for being tough, but fair in the face of adversity, turmoil, or even evil. Often, leadership means looking toward a better path and better options and guiding people to that goal. It also means telling hard truths—even when they aren’t wanted. In my time as Chief Public Defender, one of my first major projects was to revamp the qualification process to make sure that only people who actually qualified for representation did so. My goal was to put in a system that responded to the needs of the community, while also being fair and impartial. Additionally, in my role as an attorney, I’ve had to give cold hard facts to many clients—even when they didn’t want to hear it, because it was the truth, or it was the best advice for the situation. That kind of leadership is essential—because having integrity without leadership can make one gullible for the worst tricks that people can employ.
Compassion is the final pillar of my campaign, and it might seem obvious, but it is essential. The Court is a place of business with all of its funny rules, its own language, and even sometimes dress code. But it can be very easy to forget that the Court’s matters, at the end of the day, involve people. People just trying to get back to normal. People trying to right wrongs, people answering for their crimes, and people suffering from the crimes of others. Compassion is critical to make sure that everyone—no matter if rich or poor, black or white, local or foreign—is given a fair opportunity to be heard. I’ve represented people from every walk of life imaginable. I’ve made it a personal goal to connect with each client as best as I can to understand them. Strong leadership, without compassion, can lead to injustice.