Community, Experience and Willingness to Help: Qualifications for District Judge

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that District Judges are “the first and often the only representatives of the judicial system with whom most people have contact.” Most county residents will only interact with their magistrate by chance or to dispute a traffic citation; however, many know that the District Judge, and other magistrates, work diligently behind the scenes in order to help keep their counties growing, thriving and, most importantly, safe.

Well, after more than 25 years, citizens in the 27-3-05 Magisterial District will be electing a District Judge other than Jay Weller and have a new official to come face-to-face with.

In recent years, the job of District Judge for the 27-3-05 Magisterial District has grown immensely. The court is now seeing a record high number of cases. For example, in 2017, there were more than 5,200 traffic cases alone — this does not include all of the other cases brought before Judge Weller.

Washington County made national headlines Aug. 23, 2015 for its heroin epidemic as chronicled by The Washington-Post in their feature story “The heroin epidemic’s toll: One county, 70 minutes, eight overdoses.”

Stories like this shine a light on the level of experience, emotional maturity and professionalism that a District Judge must possess. Citizens in Pennsylvania’s 27th Magisterial District – covering Strabane, North Strabane, South Strabane, part of Eighty-Four, Pancake, Laboratory and Manifold – have their own decision to make Tuesday, May 21 for District Judge.

According to A Pursuit of Justice, a District Judge candidate should exhibit the following aspects of proper judicial temperament: intelligence, ethics, courage, experience and education, ability to communicate, civic and professional responsibility, understanding and character.

One candidate seeking to fill the District Judge position, and believe he meets all of the above listed characteristics, is police veteran, Sergeant Mike Manfredi. If you are heading to the polls this week, the following are reasons why Mike Manfredi and his campaign team believe he meets and exceeds the qualifications to serve as the District Judge of the Magisterial District 27-3-05.

Understanding of the local community.

 The District Judge is elected to service a specific county and its unique communities — meaning that having familiarity and knowledge about the county, its history, needs and issues is vital to serving in the role.

For example, you wouldn’t visit an optometrist if you were experiencing heart issues. Though both of these professionals have the qualifications to act as doctors, you would be sure to visit the one that knows more and has the better qualifications for your specific needs. Selecting a District Judge is no different.

Mike Manfredi has lived and worked in Washington County for the majority of his life. A Trinity High School graduate, Manfredi is a 25-year veteran of the police force, and currently serves as a sergeant within the South Strabane Township Police Department. This career has provided him with an up close view of the county’s current and on-going issues. It has also allowed him to connect with the community and its diverse groups of people.

“I have unique knowledge of the people, issues, concerns and values within the community,” said Manfredi. “I have seen firsthand the realities and problems within our communities. As a police officer, I’ve personally, positively impacted people in our communities with a variety of problems — addiction, alcohol, elderly victims and domestic violence are just a few to name.”

Having a civic and professional responsibility.

Again, when searching for a doctor, you are most likely going to research available options or take recommendations on the most experienced physicians in your area. When selecting a District Judge, you should have the same mindset.

Manfredi has dedicated his life and career to serving the residents of Washington County. During his police career, Manfredi became a member of the Washington County Drug Task Force and has served as a part-time officer in the East Washington Borough for the last 25 years.

For 12 years, he served as a task force officer with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Mon Valley Drug Task Force and recently became involved in Operation Heavy Hand — a very successful, multi-agency investigation resulting in the arrests of dozens of drug traffickers and one of the largest cocaine seizures in the history of western Pennsylvania.

“If elected my main goals and objectives would be relatively simple — to continue my lifetime service to the community,” said Manfredi. “This office has been in the hands of a qualified veteran judge, and former police officer, for the past 25 years, and I will continue that tradition of service.”

Experience and education.

Manfredi has been a Washington County citizen with his family throughout his life and has served on the police force to help keep the community safe. Manfredi believes that the experience he has gained through his police career, as well as his history with the county and its residents, has prepared him for the role of District Judge.

“The most significant qualification is my experience,” said Manfredi. “I have been an active listener during my 25 years of community service. Reacting with empathy and compassion is a natural trait. I believe being a husband and father help make me a well-rounded candidate for District Judge.”

When heading to the polls Tuesday, May 21, 2019, keep in mind that Mike Manfredi aspires to serve as the next District Judge, while helping to keep the community safe, serving as the county’s ally and helping give a voice to its people.

Manfredi is seeking both the Democratic and Republican nominations. For more information on the Friends to Elect Mike Manfredi campaign, visit:

Sponsored content brought to you by Friends to Elect Michael Manfredi.