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Easton Constable Running For District Judge

Lance Wheeler says experience in justice system qualifies him for bench.

An Easton constable has joined the race for the city's vacant district judge seat.

Lance Wheeler -- who previously served as Northampton County's lead court officer -- says his experience in the city and in the courts qualifies him for the job.

He announced his candidacy Tuesday afternoon in front of his home on S. Ninth Street in Easton's West Ward.

"This is where I grew up," Wheeler told supporters. "I experienced what the crime rate is. I can see the homicides. I can see the landlord tenant disputes. I can see that happening in the West Ward."

Wheeler is one of -- so far -- three candidates seeking the seat left vacant last month by the death of District Judge Gay Elwell. The county's senior judges will fill in until a permanent replacement is chosen.

Wheeler -- who is married with two daughters -- says he's the person to fill that vacancy because of his experience as a constable.

Although he's prosecuted cases, he said he thinks he can be fair to the people who would appear before him.

"I don't go out to evict people," he said. "Everybody has a burden."

Like his declared opponents -- code inspector Sharbel Koorie and attorney Antonia Grifo -- Wheeler plans to attend the state's district judge course in June. And like the other candidates in the race, Wheeler -- a Democrat -- will cross-file to appear on both ballots.

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