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State College Mayor Don Hahn Announces Run For Magisterial District Judge

Elissa Hill

State College mayor Don Hahn announced Tuesday that he’ll run for magisterial district judge, hoping to succeed Judge Carmine Prestia, Jr., who will retire in January 2020.

Hahn is just a year and change into his four-year term as mayor after he beat out candidates Michael Black, Catherine Dauler, and Janet Engeman in the 2017 Democratic primary and ran against Michael Black and Ron Madrid in the general municipal election.

He runs with a rich history of serving in local public office, including twelve years on Borough Council, two years as Council President, and time spent on the State College Borough Planning Commission, Redevelopment Authority, and Community Development Block Grant Citizens Advisory Committee, the Centre Region Council of Governments Finance Committee, Public Works Committee, and Ad Hoc Committee on the Articles of Agreement, the Pennsylvania Municipal League Board of Directors, and the Pennsylvania Association of Councils of Governments Board of Delegates.

He is an attorney and founding member of Stover, McGlaughlin, Gerace, Weyandt, & McCormick, P.C. He served for twelve years on the Middle District Bankruptcy Bar Association Board of Directors and one year as its president. He also received the Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Award in 2003 and 2013.

“During my 25 years of practice, I am familiar with a variety of judicial styles. The judges whom I admire and whom I wish to emulate are those who maintain a good sense of balance,” Hahn said in a press release.

“A judge needs to be smart enough to command the respect of the parties and their attorneys but humble enough to learn from them. A judge needs to be tough enough to maintain order in the Court but fair enough to give the parties an ample opportunity to tell their truths. A judge needs to not only recognize good legal arguments but also to inquire if the facts fit those arguments. A judge needs to balance the need to protect the public with the opportunity to rehabilitate those who can be redeemed.”

Hahn graduated from State High, earned his bachelor’s degree from Penn State, and earned his law degree from Villanova. He said as judge he hopes to encourage landlord-tenant mediation, pro bono representation of indigent parties with respect to small civil claims, translation service for parties for whom English is a second language, and restorative justice.

No candidates have yet come forward to replace Hahn as mayor, should he assume the magisterial district judge position. The municipal primary is set for Tuesday, May 21. Election Day is Tuesday, November 5.

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About the Author

Elissa Hill

Elissa is a senior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.


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