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Zagurskie to run for judge

Local experienced attorney announces candidacy

MIFFLINTOWN – Local attorney Don Zagurskie has announced his candidacy for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of the 41st Judicial District (Juniata and Perry Counties) to serve along with President Judge Kenneth Mummah and fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Kathy A. Morrow.

Zagurskie said he has decided to announce his candidacy “to offer voters the opportunity to have a judicial candidate with a broad and extensive experience in all aspects of the law.”

Zagurskie has 30 years of courtroom experience that includes litigating criminal cases, civil matters, family law matters, wrongful death, personal injury, restoration of gun rights and more. In addition to his courtroom experience Zagurskie has advised local municipal and county governments in many legal aspects.

Zagurskie said his extensive and varied courtroom experience and role as legal adviser to local county and municipal governments makes him uniquely prepared to step into the role of judge.

“My legal experience ranges from capital murder cases to summary offenses,” Zagurskie said. “I have been doing criminal defense work my entire career both as private counsel and at times court appointed counsel when requested by the court. I have prosecuted violations of local ordinances and the enforcement of support orders. I have been committed to responding to the needs of our community to have legal counsel for indigent defendants in matters when requested by the court and am committed to our local judicial system and the principles of justice which it upholds. I have consistently provided representation over the years without regard to any personal or professional impact, because every person deserves representation under our Constitution.”

Zagurskie also said he has extensive civil experience.

“A significant amount of my legal practice involves civil matters which often require additional skills and knowledge,” he said. “These types of cases include child custody, wrongful death, personal injury, purchase or sale of a home, land disputes, helping clients to start and close businesses, bankruptcy, restoration of gun owner rights and many other legal matters. These are the matters in which most people will encounter the court rather than criminal matters.”

Zagurskie currently serves as solicitor for Juniata County, Perry and Juniata County Domestic Relations, Greenwood Township in Juniata County, Greenwood Township in Perry County, Milford and Turbett townships in Juniata County, the Borough of Mifflin, the Twin Boroughs Sanitation Authority, the Mifflintown Municipal Authority (for nearly 30 years), the zoning hearing board for Fermanagh and Delaware Townships

He has also served as ad hoc solicitor for other municipalities when needed.

“I got started here in the 41st Judicial District back in 1992, when I became a partner at Johnston and Zagurskie in Mifflin,” Zagurskie said. “My wife, Donis and I have been married for 30 years and have raised our three children here. I have committed my career to practicing law and providing legal services to the people of the 41st Judicial District. I have met and come to know so many of the finest, good natured, hardworking individuals living in Juniata and Perry counties. I can’t imagine having made any other place my home and the center of my profession.”

Among the awards Zagurskie has won, one particular stands out.

“The one award which I feel especially honored to have received is the 20 Year Pro Bono Award from the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation for providing legal services without receiving a fee,” he said. “It is of paramount importance to me that everyone has equal access to our judicial system.

“I believe in the rule of law and most particularly that our Constitution is the foundation for its application and that within those parameters we create a system of jurisprudence of fundamental fairness to all. A judge of the 41st Judicial District is the keystone of the administration of justice for our community. If I am successful in this campaign I will continue to serve the 41st Judicial District with diligence and commitment to those same ideals I have demonstrated for the last 30 years.”

The primary election is May 18.

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