NorCo bench going Mediterranean?
Next year, all but one of Northampton County’s nine judges will be either Italian or Lebanese. John Morganelli has already been picked by both parties for Judge Giordano’s vacancy. The executive committees of both Democratic and Republican parties decided to keep the Mediterranean influence Aug. 29 when they chose the party nominees to succeed retiring Judge F.P.Kimberly McFadden.
Republicans voted unanimously for Vic Scomillio, a former Northampton County solicitor who has run for judge once before. Scomillio, who practices law in Bethlehem, is a past president of the Northampton County Bar Association. The vote was unanimous. He was the only candidate. Though some Republicans tried to recruit Magisterial District Judge Alicia Zito, she declined.
Democrats had a potpourri of five candidates from which to choose: Easton lawyer Josh Fulmer; Assistant District Attorney Abe Kassis; former Assistant DA and divorce master Connie Nelson; Magisterial District Judge Richard Yetter; and Magisterial District Judge Vivian Zumas.
After interviewing each candidate, they voted unanimously for Abe Kassis. In addition to leading the Domestic Violence Unit in the DA’s office, Kassis serves on the board of directors of the St. Francis Friary in Bethlehem Township ,as well as the pastoral council of Our Lady of Lebanon Church in Easton.
Whether Morganelli, Kassis and Scomillio will appear on the ballot together is unclear. Ordinarily, voters would be able to select two of the three candidates for two judicial vacancies. But Morganelli was the choice of voters who participated in the primary. Kassis and Scomillio are party nominees who had no primary. This issue might need to be resolved by the courts.