York Bar poll: 3 judges should be retained


In addition to electing two new judges to the York County Court of Common Pleas on Tuesday, voters also will decide if three judges will remain on the bench.

Judges John S. Kennedy, Maria Musti Cook and Joseph C. Adams are up for retention, and a recently release poll by the York County Bar Association says all three deserve another term on the bench.

The poll was sent to the bar's 475 members and 210 responded, according to a news release.

"We were very pleased with the high level of response from our membership, since many of our members do not practice in front of the court of common pleas," said former Common Pleas Judge John Uhler, who is a bar judicial liaison, in a statement. "It is often difficult for litigants and general public to evaluate the performance of those in judicial office."

When voters head to their polls, they will see simple "yes" or "no" options on the ballot to retain each of the judges.

Results: Eighty-nine percent, or 187 of respondents, said Kennedy deserves another term, while about 2 percent, or 5 respondents, opposed retention, according to the poll.

About 85 percent, or 178 respondents, support retention for Adams, while about 2 percent, or 4 people, opposed. Musti Cook received the least support, with 70 percent, or 147 respondents, saying she should be retained, while about 13 percent, or 28 of those polled, opposed granting her a second term, the poll says.

Kennedy, 57, of Spring Garden Township, was first elected in 1995 and successfully sought retention in 2005. Musti Cook, 58, of York City, and Adams, 47, of Manchester Township, were elected in 2005, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

In Pennsylvania, Common Pleas judges face retention every 10 years — the length of a term.

They are paid $176,572 annually.

— Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.