Five candidates vying to be District Judge in Kennett Square
● By J. Chambless
By John Chambless
In the Pennsylvania Judicial Primary
election being held May 16, five candidates are vying for the vacant
Magisterial District Judge position in Kennett Square. The position
was formerly held by retired Judge Daniel Maisano.
The court serves Birmingham, Pocopson, Newlin, Pennsbury, Kennett and East Marlborough townships, as well as Kennett Square Borough. The general election is scheduled for Nov. 7.
David Cox, Jr., served as a
Pennsylvania State Constable for 30 years. He attended West Chester
University, where he obtained his bachelor of arts degree in criminal
justice while working full-time. He is certified by the Pennsylvania
Commission on Crime and Delinquency and is trained to provide service
and security to the Courts’ Minor Judiciary.
In July 2016, Cox became certified by the administrative office of Pennsylvania Courts by successfully completing a training and education program on his first attempt.
In addition to his judiciary responsibilities, Cox would like to carry on the legacy of his father, a former principal in the West Chester School District, and his own commitment to children and youth, which he started years ago as a president of the Police Athletic League of West Chester. He plans to dedicate time and effort working with the Kennett and Unionville-Chadds Ford school districts to help keep the youth on a path to a safe and brighter future.
He plans to also help those who come before him who are struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, family crisis, disability challenges, or are domestic and crime victims. He will communicate with each individual, obtain a better understanding of their specific needs, and provide resources directing them to treatment and support they are looking for.
East Marlborough Township attorney Jane
Murphy Donze is a local business owner, and an attorney with more
than 25 years of experience in criminal, civil, and family law. She
is a graduate of the Widener University School of Law.
As an attorney, she has handled hundreds of cases involving preliminary hearings and summary cases before District Judges and has extensive experience with the criminal justice system, working both as a prosecutor and for the defendant.
She has extensive experience in civil litigation, working for both individuals and companies, plaintiffs and defendants. For several years, Donze worked for the Delaware County District Attorney's office, prosecuting defendants in child and spousal support.
Jane and her husband, George, founded Donze & Donze Attorneys at Law, where she uses her experience as both a public defender and a prosecutor in her civil and criminal litigation. She lives in East Marlborough Township with her husband, where they raised two sons who graduated from the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District.
Al Iacocca, a Kennett Square/Unionville attorney and East Marlborough Township resident, has been endorsed for the Magisterial District Court Judge position by the Kennett Area Democrats. He cited his years of advocating for civil, criminal, and juvenile clients in Court 15-3-04 and other district courts in the county, his familiarity with the system, and the professional relationships he has developed with local law enforcement, district attorneys, court staff, and other local attorneys as the backbone to his experience and readiness to serve as the community’s district judge.
In addition to his District Court practice, Iacocca represents individuals in criminal, domestic, and civil matters in the Chester County Court of Common Pleas, as well as neighboring counties. He has served as a Chester County arbitrator since 2011, and he is a trained mediator in civil and domestic matters.
Iacocca has been a community leader since moving to the area, joining the Kennett YMCA’s Board of Directors. He spent eight years developing a youth triathlon team and race with the Kennett YMCA. He also served as the Longwood Rotary Club representative for Kennett Run Charities’ Board of Directors, and he served as Race Director for the 2010 and 2011 Kennett Run races.
Iacocca was born and raised in Pennsylvania and, for the past 12 years, has lived in the Kennett Square area with his wife, Mary, and three children, who attend Patton Middle School and Unionville High School.
Sean Rafferty is a retired 26-year police officer and has spent much time in the local district courts. Rafferty said he’s the only candidate prepared to present affidavits of probable cause for either an arrest or search warrant. The Chester County FOP Lodge No. 11, and the Pennsylvania State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, have both endorsed Rafferty.
“If I am elected to the position of Magisterial District Court Judge, a major focus of mine will be to utilize more intervention programs with groups such as COAD (Chester County Council on Addictive Diseases) to help children who are at risk of alcohol and drug abuse issues,” Rafferty said. “Children in Chester County die unnecessarily every year in car crashes and drug overdoses, and we need to address these issues more effectively. It is imperative that we take a hard look at what works and what doesn’t, and then implement a real action plan. The lives of our youth depend on it.”
Pennsbury Township resident Lorraine Ramunno practices law in Media. Her practice includes criminal cases, juvenile and civil matters, as well as landlord-tenant disputes and other matters.
In a letter announcing her candidacy, Ramunno wrote, “It has been my longtime desire to become Magisterial District Justice for District Court 15-3-04. It has been my goal for nearly 20 years. I have worked the legal field for over 34 years in a variety of positions until I became an attorney 23 years ago. Becoming a District Judge is the next logical step in my legal career.
“I have observed and worked with many District Justices, District Attorneys and law enforcement. I know what to do and what not to do. Consequently, I know I have the right temperament to be a District Justice. I am very patient and I have the ability to listen and treat every person equally and with respect,” she wrote.
Ramunno has lived in Pennsbury Township for 17 years with her husband, Lawrence, and three children. She has represented clients in felonies and misdemeanors, summaries, juveniles in delinquency court, civil matters, personal injury claims, traffic violations, and family law matters including cases involving Children and Youth Services in dependency and orphan's court.
To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email firstname.lastname@example.org.