(WHTM) – Pennsylvania’s 2023 general election will not draw as much attention as 2022 when voters cast ballots for their next Governor and U.S. Senator.

There will be an important race to decide who sits on the Pennsylvania state Supreme Court.

The seven-seat high court currently has a majority of four justices elected as Democrats. Two other justices were elected as Republicans.

One seat is open following the death last year of Chief Justice Max Baer, who was months away from the mandatory retirement age of 75.

Judicial elections in Pennsylvania occur in odd-numbered years to 10 year terms. They may hold an unlimited number of terms until they reach the mandatory retirement age.

Here is a list of candidates who appeared on the Department of State’s list of candidates for the Pennsylvania state Supreme Court.


Deborah Kunselman

Pennsylvania Superior Court judge Deborah Kunselman announced on December 1, 2022, that she will run for an open seat on the state Supreme Court in next November’s election.

Kunselman was endorsed in the primary by the Democratic Party when she ran for the Superior Court in 2017.

Kunselman graduated from Notre Dame’s law school and worked as a civil litigator for 13 years, including eight as the chief solicitor for Beaver County, before becoming the first woman elected as a Beaver County judge in 2005.

Daniel McCaffery

Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Daniel McCaffery announced his candidacy for the state Supreme Court in November 2022.

McCaffrey was endorsed by the state Democratic Party when he was elected to a 10-year term on the state Superior Court in 2019. He was endorsed as the party nominee for the supreme court seat in January 2023.

A former assistant district attorney in Philadelphia, he ran for district attorney in 2009 and lost in the primary. He also ended a brief candidacy for state attorney general in 2012 before winning a race for a Common Pleas Court judge position in Philadelphia.

McCaffrey served in the Army and received his law degree from Temple University.


Carolyn Carluccio

Carolyn Carluccio, the president judge of Montgomery County Court, announced her candidacy for a 10-year term on the state’s highest court. She was first elected to her current post in 2009.

Carluccio is a former federal prosecutor and chief public defender of Montgomery County. She got her law degree from Widener University’s Delaware Law School and was endorsed by the Pennsylvania Republican party in the 2023 election.

Patricia McCullough

Patricia McCullough, a judge of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, was approved by the Department of State to appear on the 2023 primary ballot for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

McCullough previously ran for the state’s highest court and lost the Republican primary in May 2021 to Kevin Brobson. She was elected to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court in 2009 for a term that runs through December 2029.

McCullough attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1981 and had a private law practice from 1991-2004. She was appointed to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas in 2005 and served as the Executive Director of the Catholic Charities Diocese of Pittsburgh for two years.

The municipal primary is May 16 and the general municipal election will be on November 7, 2023.

The Associated Press contributed to this report