(WHTM) – The race for the second open seat on Pennsylvania’s Superior Court remains too close to call as of Wednesday morning.
On Tuesday night the Associated Press declared Democrat Jill Beck the first winner with more than 1.5 million votes. However, Democrat Timika Lane, and Republicans Maria Battista and Harry Smail Jr. remain in a close race for the second open seat.
Lane has served in the Court of Common Pleas for Philadelphia County since 2013. She is a graduate of Howard University and the Ruster-Camden School of Law.
During the election, Lane was “highly recommended” by the Pennsylvania Bar Association and endorsed by Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania PAC, United Steelworkers, and the Fraternal Order of Police Philadelphia Lodge #5.
During the campaign, Battista touted 15 years of legal experience that included serving as counsel in the Department of Health and State. A former prosecutor, Battista was endorsed by the Pennsylvania Sheriffs’ Association Action PAC and the Fraternal Order of Police Pennsylvania State Lodge.
Smail Jr. has served on the Court of Common Pleas in Westmoreland County for more than eight years and has also served as an Elections Judge. A graduate of Grove City College and Duquesne University School of Law, Smail Jr. was endorsed by the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association and Fraternal Order of Police.
Pennsylvania’s Superior Court was established in 1895 and serves as one of two statewide intermediate appellate courts. Cases are typically heard by panels of three judges in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, or Pittsburgh and may also be heard by nine judges.
The court is responsible for appeals in criminal and most civil cases from the Court of Common Pleas and appeals involving children and families.
The Superior Court has been described as “one of the busiest intermediate appellate courts in the country.” In 2022 the court received nearly 13,000 appeals docket applications and heard more than 6,400 appeals.