Sala and Mikovch Secure Nominations and Prepare for Fall Showdown in Erie County Judge Election

In the primary elections for Erie County Judge, lawyers Peter Sala and Eric Mikovch emerged victorious, setting the stage for a showdown in November. Sala, a registered Democrat, won the Democratic nomination with a lead of over 9,000 votes, while Mikovch, a registered Republican, secured the GOP nomination, narrowly beating Sala by 246 votes. The third candidate, Leigh Ann Orton, fell short on both ballots​1​​2​​3​.

Sala received 63% of the Democratic votes, while Mikovch and Orton received 12% and 25% respectively. On the Republican ballot, Mikovch led with 34% of the votes, with Orton and Sala each getting 33%​4​​5​.

The winner in November will fill a seat on the Erie County Court of Common Pleas, left vacant since May 2022 following the abrupt retirement of Erie County Judge Stephanie Domitrovich. The judgeship is a state position with a 10-year term, carrying a salary of $212,495 per year, as set by state law, and a mandatory retirement age of 75​6​​7​.

Sala, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office’s longtime solicitor, was the only candidate who had previously run for judge. He also received a “highly recommended” rating from the Erie County Bar Association. Looking towards the fall, Sala expressed his intent to continue working hard for the people of Erie County​8​​9​​10​.

Mikovch, a partner with the Quinn Law Firm in Erie, expressed pride in the work his campaign had put in and pledged to keep working hard until November. Orton, who practices law with her husband in North East Township, was not immediately available for comment​11​​12​.

Campaign finances revealed that Sala’s campaign raised the least among the three candidates, yet had the most donors who made small contributions. Mikovch loaned his campaign $99,000 and paid $11,446 in campaign expenses, and Orton’s campaign received a loan of $90,000 from Orton and her husband. At the end of May, Sala, Mikovch, and Orton’s campaigns had balances of $17,142, $62,216, and $23,180 respectively​13​​14​​15​​16​​17​​18​​19​.

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