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Miller Faces Challenger in District Court 18-3-04 Race

Sunday, May 12, 2019 @ 12:05 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

Miller-vs-RitzlerNEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (EYT) – Residents in the southern part of Clarion County have two candidates on the primary election ballot for Magisterial District Judge in District Court 18-3-04.

The district for the office covers the Boroughs of Callensburg, East Brady, Hawthorn, New Bethlehem, Rimersburg, and Sligo and the Townships of Brady, Licking, Limestone, Madison, Perry, Piney, Porter, Redbank, and Toby.

The incumbent candidate, District Judge Jeffrey C. Miller, is seeking re-election for his third term and is running on both the Democratic and Republican ballots.

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A lifelong resident of the district, and a 1975 graduate of Redbank Valley High School, Judge Miller was a former business partner with his late father, Wallace Miller, and served as Pennsylvania State Constable, working with the courts for over a ten-year period.

He is also deeply involved in the community, with membership in the New Bethlehem Lions Club and Masonic Lodge F&AM 522 and a history of supporting a number of charities including events for the New Bethlehem Fire Department, Hawthorn, Limestone, New Bethlehem Fire Department Gun Raffles, Sligo NWTF Banquet, American Legion projects, and Bridge Builders Foundations. He also supports the Clarion County Fair and serves as a daily announcer for the fair.

“It is important that a District Judge be involved with the communities they serve,” Judge Miller said. “It takes a feel for the social and economics of the venue. A court must be run with Experience, Fairness, and Compassion!”

Judge Miller was first elected to the District Magistrate’s position in 2007, upon the retirement of Daniel P. George in 2008. He received his certification from the Administration Office of Pennsylvania Courts in September of 2007 and updates with the Minor Judiciary yearly on recertification. He has sat on the bench for summary trials, civil actions, landlord-tenant and criminal proceedings and criminal arrangements throughout his judicial career.

His challenger, Michelle Shelley Ritzler, is also running on both the Democratic and Republican ballots.

Ritzler a

Ritzler grew up in the Shippenville and Knox areas and has resided in Licking Township for over 12 years.

Ritzler earned an Associate of Science degree in Legal Business Studies, a Bachelor of Science degree in Rehabilitative Sciences with a concentration in Courts and Community Service, both from Clarion University of PA, and a Master of Arts degree in Social Science, concentrating in Applied Criminology, from California University of PA.

She gained knowledge by interning with a district magisterial judge, the public defender’s office, Judicial and Mediation Services at Clarion University, Clarion County Sherriff’s office, and Clarion County Probation Services, and gained experience working with at-risk youth at Taylor Diversion Programs, Inc. through internship opportunities.

She has been employed at Clarion University for over 24 years, working with applicants and students at all levels, including administration, faculty, and staff, and networking with multiple departments. She has also been a member of her local union for over 24 years, the American Federation of State, County, Municipal Employees (AFSCME), actively holding leadership roles serving and representing our members and has served as the Judge of Elections in Licking Township for more than nine years.

Her community involvement includes being an Eastern Star member in Clarion, Chapter 267, as well as volunteering with her family for Charitable Deeds and Services, the Knox Baseball and Softball Association, and the Clarion County Rod and Gun Club (Knox and New Bethlehem members) with the Clarion County Youth Field Days event. She has also helped Tempest and Wolf’s Camping Resort raise money for local charities and has volunteered for over 10 years with the Armstrong, Clarion, and Indiana Drug and Alcohol Commission’s Reality Tour event held at the Clarion County Jail.

“I am someone you can depend on and am committed to utilizing my office hours to maximize availability to best serve our community,” said Ritzler.

“I will maintain a fair and open mind on all matters.”


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