Eric Dreikorn says there are no problems with the district court in Jackson Township, but he believes it is time for new leadership.
The Vinco man, a Jackson Township supervisor, is challenging 18-year Judge Mary Ann Zanghi in the May 21 primaries.
Both candidates have cross-filed and will appear on Democratic and Republican ballots.
Both stress the importance of listening and observing when dealing with cases in the court, which covers Brownstown, East Conemaugh, Franklin, Nanty Glo and Vintondale boroughs, along with East Taylor, Jackson, Lower Yoder, Middle Taylor and West Taylor townships.
“The important part is listening and following the law,” Zanghi said. “Treat everybody like your own family member; be respectful.”
“It’s important to have someone in there who will listen to both sides of the issue and make an equitable decision based on that information,” Dreikorn said.
Zanghi, 62, has been employed in the court system since graduating from Conemaugh Valley High School in 1975.
She worked for the late Joseph Piurkowsky in Johnstown for two years before being named office manager for the magisterial court where she now serves as judge.
Through the first 25 years of her career, she worked for seven different district judges.
“I got to train them all,” Zanghi quipped.
“The only things I didn’t do were hold hearings and sign checks. All the administrative stuff, I did.”
Zanghi defeated attorney Tom Aurandt in the 2001 election, and was re-elected in 2007 and 2013 without ballot opposition. She and her husband, Anthony, have one son and daughter-in-law, Joseph and Carli Zanghi, and a granddaughter, Ivy.
Dreikorn had a 35-year career with Coca-Cola Co., and went on to be a substitute teacher. For the past six years, he has worked as a corrections officer at Cambria County Prison.
He formerly served as a Central Cambria school board member and was appointed Jackson Township supervisor in 2013 and was elected to a six-year term in 2015.
Dreikorn, 63, said the township has had success during his time on the board, attracting the CPV Fairview power plant and developing Loraine Park and Fishing Pond outside Nanty Glo.
Dreikorn has been active in local sports leagues and the Boy Scouts organization. He sees the district judge office as a place to continue working for area residents.
“I am a service-oriented person,” Dreikorn said. “I look at it as an opportunity to serve.”
Dreikorn and his wife, Denise, have three children, Erika, Ian and Aaron.