No decision for the bench

LEWISTOWN – President Judge Timothy S. Searer and Assistant District Attorney Dave Barron will face off in the November election for judge in the Mifflin County Court of Common Pleas.

Searer secured the Democratic nomination with 923 votes to Barron’s 852 votes, while Barron secured the Republican nomination with 2,101 votes to Searer’s 2,088 votes, according to unofficial election results.

Searer said he appreciates those voters who turned out to exercise their right as citizens.

“I look forward to continue to talk about my record,” Searer said.

The challenger was also appreciative of the county’s voters.

“I’m honored that so many Mifflin County voters put faith in me. We will continue to work hard and look toward the general election in November,” Barron said.

Barron has been practicing law for more than 20 years and was asked by District Attorney Dave Molek, shortly after he was elected in 2012, to serve as one of two ADAs in Mifflin County.

Barron is a native of Mifflin County and graduated from Lewistown Area High School, before attending Tulane University in New Orleans. He received his law degree from Widener University in 1992, after which he joined Barron & Zimmerman Law offices where his father worked.

Barron has represented citizens in criminal and civil cases and has also appeared in the Superior and Supreme courts of Pennsylvania. He has also served as an assistant public defender.

Barron lives in Lewistown with his wife, Lentha and their two children. They attend Yeagertown United Methodist Church.

Searer has served as President Judge of the Mifflin County Court of Common Pleas since 1994. Prior to that he served as the Mifflin County District Attorney from 1988 to1994.

Searer is a native of Lewistown. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Pennsylvania State University in 1977 and his Juris Doctor from Duquesne University School of Law in 1980. He was admitted to practice in Pennsylvania in 1980, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in 1985 and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in 1991. He had his private legal practice in Mifflin County from 1980 to 1994.

Searer also served as Mifflin County solicitor from 1984 to 1988. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, the Mifflin County Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He attended the General Jurisdiction Course at the National Judicial College, University of Nevada-Reno in 1994, and has served as a panel member for several programs of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, the educational arm of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Among the family court programs and procedures initiated during Searer’s tenure as president judge are Group Custody Days, Parent Coordination and the Educational Program for Separated Parents. These initiatives assure prompt appearances before a judge in the emotional area of child custody, provide a quick and efficient means of resolving cases without long and contentious hearings and provide guidance to parents for helping their children adjust to the consequences of separated parents.

In the criminal court, there was the introduction of Central Court, Specialized Treatment Courts for both juveniles and adults, the opening of a Day Reporting Center and the increased use of monitoring technology during Searer’s tenure as judge.

Searer was the first judge outside of Centre County to serve as Chief Administrative Judge of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Administrative Unit 2. This two-year appointment in 2009 came from the 18 judges and seven District Court Administrators in central Pennsylvania counties comprising the unit.

In addition to all administrative duties, Searer carries a full caseload in all court divisions: civil, criminal, family and orphan’s court.

Searer and his wife, Susan (Zewe) Searer, are the parents of two daughters and a son. Over the years, Searer has remained actively involved in community and civic affairs. He is a past president of the Lewistown Kiwanis Club and former board member of the United Way of Mifflin-Juniata. He is a member of Trinity United Church of Christ and a past president of the church council. He has actively supported various youth and school activities and has coached youth baseball and basketball.