Introductions continue with two more candidates for the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas

Written by on October 4, 2021

Introductions continue with two more candidates for the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas

By Genesis Ortega

October 4, 2021


ALLENTOWN, Pa. – It’s a hotly contested race for a judge seat in Lehigh County’s Court of Common Pleas

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Six lawyers with varying backgrounds are vying for three spots on the bench that tries major criminal and civil cases.  

For Republican Tom Capehart, it’s his second try for the seat. He took second place in the primary when he ran in 2019. 

He says what’s different about this race is that there are now three seats available, so his odds for winning are pretty good. 

“I tell some folks, I don’t need to be number one or even number two, but I need to be number three if you haven’t made up your mind about me,” he said. 

In terms of getting his message across to voters, he finds going door-to-door is the most effective method to campaign. But he’s also had success using Facebook. 

“COVID restrictions have placed more importance on social media in running a campaign because that’s a way for people to educate themselves about the candidates, particularly judicial candidates,” he said. 

Capehart’s portfolio isn’t limited to Lehigh County alone. He has a state-wide practice in broad-based civil litigation like real estate, adoption, divorce and zoning. He’s also appeared before federal, state, and local judges. 

Democrat Rashid Santiago came in third in his 7-person primary in 2019, but he said this time he comes into the race with more confidence.

“It’s difficult to run, to get signatures just to get on the ballot. There’s a lot of components. So I come into an ease with a lot of those logistical elements. But it’s a totally different race,” he said. 

He’s been going door-to-door, but also has been spending more time in the community. 

“I’ve been able to attend a lot of events, and thankfully with the weather being nice, a lot of the events were outdoors but it definitely provides a different element when you’re able to make that face-to-face contact,” he added. 

Santiago is the only magisterial district judge in the race, now in his 8th year serving the city of Allentown. But he says what actually sets him apart are his lived experiences growing up poor in a single-parent household.

Others on the ballot are Zac Cohen, Tom Caffrey, Maraleen Shields and David Ritter

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