Searer’s daughter offers insight about campaign

To the editor:

I’m not writing to emphasize all the reasons why my father should remain President Judge of Mifflin County. He and his committee are doing that. Instead, I’m writing to commend my father for conducting an honorable, honest, ethical campaign despite all the negativity, half-truths, one-liners and political spins from the other side.

A Barron supporter’s recent letter referred to my father as a “career politician.” Candidates for judge are not politicians – especially incumbent judges. Once on the bench they are banned by the Code of Judicial Conduct from taking part in any political activity except when they are a candidate for retention or re-election.

My father welcomes Pennsylvania’s electoral process and is running for re-election because it assures the citizens of Mifflin County there will not be a vacancy on their court creating the lengthy political appointment process that goes with that. He believes his record as judge has earned him the respect of the taxpayers he serves and whose rights he protects.

Throughout his campaigns, my father has always followed all campaign finance and election laws. More importantly, he adheres to the Code of Judicial Conduct. He would not risk impugning the court’s integrity by engaging in private door-to-door discussions with potential or current litigants as part of his campaign. He runs a positive campaign, providing voters detailed facts about his record and experience. He mentions his opponent only when he must provide a rebuttal or state the other side of the story in order to offer Mifflin County voters all the facts.

It is apparent Mr. Barron’s supporters, including the person chosen by him to chair his only recently formed political committee, have a very different view of how a judicial campaign should be run. Their recent letters attack my father without providing any facts supporting their negative assertions. They mention bringing down “the good old boys” (whoever that may be) and “horror stories” coming out of the courthouse. They provide generalizations, not specifics, and never paint a complete picture for the voters.

As an attorney licensed to practice in the Commonwealths of Pennsylvania and Virginia and the District of Columbia, I know the hallmark of an enlightened and effective system of justice is the adherence to standards of professional responsibility and civility. I am proud my father and his committee of responsible persons have lived up to these standards.

So, to my dad – thank you for carrying yourself throughout this entire process with dignity, professionalism and honesty. You truly practice what you’ve preached to my siblings and me. It’s you, Sr. Judge Williams and the many fine attorneys in Mifflin County I’ve had the pleasure to meet and work with that affirms my decision to join our profession.

On behalf of my entire family, an early thank-you to all Mifflin County voters for their vote in this election. Regardless of whom you cast your vote for, my family appreciates the value you place on this Constitutional right and the time you will take out of your day to exercise this great privilege.

Erin Searer

Arlington, Va.