Philadelphia-Former Commonwealth Court Judge Doris Smith-Ribner announced her candidacy for Lieutenant Governor.
Smith-Ribner has spent more than two decades as a statewide appeals court judge dealing with matters that touch upon every aspect of local and state government.
She upheld campaign finance laws that limit the amount of political contributions in local elections; she ordered state agencies to disclose public records under the state’s Right to Know Law; she ordered the Philadelphia School District to provide full-day kindergarten that gave thousands of public school students a better chance to succeed in school; she upheld the right of ex-offenders to vote in Pennsylvania; she decided countless cases that dealt with the rights of the injured and unemployed workers; and she decided numerous cases under laws that cover zoning, environmental protection, labor relations, state and local elections and public officials’ conduct in office.
As Lieutenant Governor Smith-Ribner says she will work to reverse job loss and promote small business growth and expansion while creating a viable workforce to compete in “our emerging high-tech economy.
She will champion common sense reform so that all citizens receive care, she said. “Whether jobs, education or healthcare, it is important that no one is left out. Importantly, I will listen to voters and take their concerns to Harrisburg,” Smith-Ribner stated.
Prior to assuming her judicial offices, Smith-Ribner practiced law in Pittsburgh for more than twelve years, handling civil and criminal litigation in federal and state courts. At the same time she served as the solicitor for the Allegheny County Controller and handled cases involving surcharge claims against public officials, a lawsuit on behalf of the taxpayers to protect Pennsylvania steel manufacturers under state law and dealt with many government auditing issues.
Smith-Ribner was first elected in 1987 to a ten-year term on Commonwealth Court, a statewide appeals court that decides lawsuits involving local and state government. In 1997 she won her retention election for a second ten-year term and in 2007 won her retention election for a third term. During her tenure she was appointed in 1991 to serve on the Pennsylvania Judicial Auditing Agency, which reviews and approves audits of all state court expenditures. She served as chairperson from 1999 through 2004. Also, Smith-Ribner developed a successful statewide court mediation program, now in its ninth year. In 1984 she was nominated by the Governor to serve on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas, assigned to the Juvenile Division.