Judges in Pennsylvania are elected in partisan elections. In the primary, most candidates cross-file with multiple political parties. If a candidate wins both the Republican and Democratic primary, he or she runs unopposed in the general election. Judges face retention elections at the end of their terms. Pennsylvania is the only state which holds all judicial elections in odd-numbered years.
Midterm vacancies are filled by gubernatorial appointment with the consent of 2/3rds of the Pennsylvania Senate. However, judges appointed in this fashion traditionally do not run for election to a full term, but serve only on an interim basis.
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