Morganelli announces candidacy for open county judge seat
John Morganelli announced in November 2018 he would not be seeking another term as Northampton County district attorney.
“I felt at that time that I had achieved all the goals that I set out to achieve, and after 27 years, it was time for me to consider some new challenges,” he said.
Morganelli has decided to make a run for the open seat in the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas.
According to Morganelli, he had wanted to be a lawyer since age 12. He grew up in a low-income neighborhood in South Bethlehem. His father had a sixth-grade education, and his mother only reached 11th grade.
“I dreamed of one day becoming a lawyer and representing average folks like my parents,” Morganelli said.
He achieved his dream and got into law school, after which he opened his own practice and served the community for 16 years. It was then that Morganelli decided to take his dream to the next level and run for district attorney.
He was elected district attorney of Northampton County and was able to prosecute cases in the courtroom on behalf of the county’s citizens.
“I realized I have had a love affair with the law for 50 years,” he said. “The law is what makes all of us equal — or at least should. The law brings order to our society and protects us. Rich or poor, young or old, highly educated or uneducated, regardless of our race, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity, we are all equal under the law.”
After announcing that he will not be running for another term as district attorney, Morganelli had to ask himself how best to serve the community, immerse himself in the law and do meaningful work utilizing his years of experience.
Despite having the opportunity to join a distinguished law firm, Morganelli has decided to go a different route. He is running for the open seat in the Northampton County Court of Common Pleas left vacant after the retirement of Judge Emil Giordano. He will cross-file on both the Republican and Democratic ballots, as is customary in judicial elections.
“I believe that I am one of the most qualified and experienced lawyers in Northampton County to serve as a trial judge,” Morganelli said.
He has successfully prosecuted 25 first-degree murder cases, supervised the grand jury and has practiced in and appeared before all of the appellate and federal courts of Pennsylvania. Before becoming the district attorney, he had a diverse law practice and legal career. He tried numerous civil cases before both judges and juries including medical malpractice, automobile accidents and slips and falls. He represented small businesses, wrote wills and represented clients in divorce and custody matters. He served as a municipal solicitor for a number of municipalities in Northampton County, served as a public defender and taught law courses at Moravian College for more than 10 years.
“I believe that a judge at the common pleas level can have a positive impact on our community,” he said.
He asserted that the first obligation of a judge is to fairly and equally apply the law in all cases. According to Morganelli, he will work to assure equal access to courts for all citizens regardless of income, advocate for reforms that result in the efficient use of public resources in the justice system, implement court programs to help rehabilitate nonviolent offenders and focus on keeping communities safe from violent predators.
“I look forward to discussing these issues in the course of this campaign,” Morganelli said.