Chuck Patterson, York County’s first black judge and second black to hold countywide office, passed away today.
Here are some links to get you up to date (check back for updates) and other commentary:
– Complete news story about Judge Patterson’s death plus a video of the judge-elect after his groundbreaking selection by voters.
– Judge Patterson is one of York County’s pioneering minorities.
– The judge was elected in same election that Kim Bracey became York’s first black mayor.
Click on the image to see slide show.
– Mattie Chapman was the first minority in York County to hold county-wide office.
– Chuck Patterson’s ascendency to public office was fueled by a period in the early 1970s in which long time patterns of discrimination were broken.
– This story tells about Patterson’s interest in ongoing personal growth.
– Assorted other posts on distinguished York County Court judges Ray Sherwood, Emanual Cassimatis and attorney Jeffrey Bortner’s book about the York County legal system: ‘Lawyers and Ilk’ offers lively insight about York County’s legal community.
– Applause from newspaper
When Patterson was elected judge in 2009, the York Daily Record commented under the headline “Voters were good judges:”
“Chuck Patterson made history Tuesday by becoming the first black man to win a judgeship in York County Common Pleas Court. He’s also the first black man to win countywide office.
“Perhaps his victory should have been predictable.
“He was clearly the strongest candidate — and was on the GOP ticket in a heavily Republican county. But he had some strong challengers in fellow Republican Harry Ness and Democrat Kathleen Prendergast.
“In the end, he outpolled them all, showing that county voters are good judges of character and qualifications.
“It’s stirring and satisfying to see an outstanding candidate win such a well-deserved victory — made all the more so by his status as the first African-American on the bench.
“Congratulations, Mr. Patterson.”
– The vote in 2009:
COURT OF COMMON PLEAS JUDGE
Top two vote-getters win
• Chuck Patterson (R): 32,025
• Harry Ness (R): 28,828
• Kathleen Prendergast (D):15,702
• Sandra Thompson (D): 12,148
– What his peers thought in 2009, York Daily Record/Sunday News
Two candidates for the two seats on the York County Court of Common Pleas bench are head and shoulders above the remaining seven hopefuls in the county bar association poll, which was released Tuesday.
County solicitor Michael Flannelly and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Chuck Patterson both are considered “highly qualified” by members of the local bar for the position of judge, according to the poll.
“Obviously, I’m very excited,” Flannelly said. “I believe the poll represents over 25 years of hard work on my part to gain a reputation for legal skill, honesty and integrity.”
Voters will nominate two judicial candidates from each party for the bench in the May 19 primary. Two new judges will then be elected in the November general election.
All nine candidates are cross-filed. If the same two candidates win both the Democratic and Republican primaries, they will be unopposed in the November election, barring write-in campaigns.
Out of 247 poll responses for Flannelly, he received 139 “highly qualified” votes. Patterson received 102 “highly qualified” votes out of 249 responses.
“I am gratified and humbled by the regard shown to me by my peers,” Patterson said.
The poll results for rest of the field in the “highly qualified” category were: Harry Ness, 66; Andrea Marceca Strong, 49; Kathleen Prendergast, 41; Susan Emmons, 31;
John Ogden, 16; Erin S. Thompson, 5; and Sandra Thompson, 4.
Bar members also were asked to rank the candidates in order of “not presently qualified.”
The results were: Erin Thompson, 158; Sandra Thompson, 154; Ogden, 139; Ness, 91; Strong, 81; Prendergast, 63; Emmons, 59; Patterson, 22; and Flannelly, 8.