Susan Gindlesperger wins district judge

Susan Gindlesperger defeated Max Pavlovich by a 56 to 44 percent margin in the election on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2017, for the magisterial district judge seat.

A longtime magisterial court office manager won the suburban Johnstown district judge office over the son of a former district judge Tuesday. 

Susan Gindlesperger defeated Max Pavlovich by a 56 to 44 percent margin in Tuesday’s election for the magisterial district that covers most of the East Hills and West Hills areas around Johnstown.

Final unofficial vote totals were 3,761 for Gindlesperger, 2,980 for Pavlovich and 15 write-in votes. 

“I’m ecstatic,” Gindlesperger said in a telephone interview from her watch-party in NyKo’s Restaurant on Scalp Avenue in Richland Township.

“I truly am so happy and proud of everyone who supported me and worked for me today, standing at the polls in this terrible weather,” she said. 

Gindlesperger, 60, lives in Richland Township and served for 39 years in the magisterial court offices of former district judges Leonard Grecek and Julia Rozum.

She pledged to continue the work of retiring District Judge John Barron.

“I hope to keep this magisterial district safe for all the citizens in the communities,” she said.

“I am extremely concerned with the drug problem and the related increasing crime rate everywhere.”

Gindlesperger said she would set bail on potentially dangerous defendants at a level to keep them in jail before trial. 

Magisterial District 47-1-02 includes most of Richland Township, along with all of Ferndale, Geistown, Scalp Level, Southmont and Westmont boroughs and Stonycreek and Upper Yoder townships. 

Pavlovich, 26, is the son of longtime District Judge Max Pavlovich.

Also a Richland resident, he is a graduate of Pitt-Johnstown with a political science degree. Pavlovich was formerly a legislative aide for state Rep. Carl Metzgar Walker, R-Berlin.

“I congratulate Susan,” Pavlovich said late Tuesday.

“They ran a good campaign.

“Obviously, I’m disappointed, but life goes on. I met a lot of great people and made some friends.”

Gindlespeger led 52 to 48 percent with the first set of precincts reporting and built the lead through the evening Tuesday. 

Voting was close in the candidates’ home territory of the East Hills, with Pavlovich taking Geistown and Scalp Level. Differences in Richland precincts were paper thin, but Gindlesperger won by larger margins in Westmont, Southmont and Upper Yoder Township.

Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5057. Follow him on Twitter @PhotoGriffer57.

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