LAWRENCE COUNTY Rendell picks Mangino for judge

There were five people seeking the nomination.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- Gov. Ed Rendell has nominated Matthew Mangino, the Lawrence County district attorney, to fill a vacant judgeship in the county's common pleas court.
Mangino said he is flattered by the governor's nomination. Rendell and Mangino are Democrats.
"I am truly humbled and honored to receive Gov. Rendell's nomination to fill the current vacancy," Mangino said Thursday in a written press release.
Mangino's name will be sent to the state Senate when it returns to session Sept. 20 for final approval. A two-thirds majority of the Senate, or 34 votes, is needed to confirm Mangino's nomination. Mangino said there also will be a Senate Judicial Committee hearing on his nomination.
The court vacancy occurred when President Judge Ralph Pratt, also a Democrat, retired in June.
Mangino was one of five people seeking the nomination from Gov. Rendell. The others were attorneys John Hodge, Joseph Kearney, Phillip Clark Jr. and District Justice Melissa Amodie.
No official announcement was sent to the press by the governor's office, but Mangino did put out the press release concerning his nomination.
Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo said the governor just decided it was time to make the decision.
"The governor had evaluated all the candidates and come to a decision. So rather than keeping people in suspense, [Mangino] chose to announce it," Ardo said.
If confirmed, Mangino will fill Pratt's remaining term, which ends in December 2005. Voters will fill the job next year by electing a judge to a 10-year term. Mangino said he will run for a full term if he is confirmed by the senate.
Pennsylvania law states that the district attorney's position will be filled by the first assistant district attorney if the elected district attorney leaves office, Mangino said. Tom Minett has that position, but does not live in Lawrence County, however. He is a resident of Beaver County.
Mangino said in the event the first assistant district attorney can't take the job, someone would be appointed by the common pleas courts.
Mangino's four-year term as district attorney also ends in December 2005.

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