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W-B Councilman Cronauer set to run for district judge

Wilkes-Barre City Councilman Rick Cronauer announces his candidacy for district judge Thursday at Riverside Cafe.

S. JOHN WILKIN/THE TIMES LEADER

WILKES-BARRE – Rick Cronauer has served the city for more than three years as a city councilman.

And now he hopes to serve the city in another capacity: as a magisterial district judge.

“I’m very proud to make my official announcement as candidate for magisterial district judge,” Cronauer said Thursday night before a large crowd of supporters at the Riverside Café on Old River Road in Wilkes-Barre.

“This is our home…for our children and grandchildren. It should be safe and secure,” he said.

Cronauer said in a press release he is running for the position to address the safety, security and quality of life in Wilkes-Barre.

“If elected, I will impose higher standards of behavior and demand accountability from our residents and those individuals who choose to disobey the law,” he said.

Cronauer, 56, became certified as a magisterial district judge at the Pennsylvania Judicial Center in Harrisburg in March 2010. He is nearing the end of his term as city councilman, a four-year seat.

He stressed that district judges don’t need to be lawyers, and that 70 percent of district judges in Pennsylvania aren’t. Eighty percent of Luzerne County’s district judges are also not lawyers, he said.

“The most qualified (candidate) will be selected by voters,” Cronauer said.

Cronauer is running for the seat formerly held by current Luzerne County Judge William Amesbury against three others, including attorney Tim Henry, who will announce his candidacy on Saturday.

“As a father, grandfather, husband, son, friend and neighbor, there is nothing more important to me than the safety and security of the city I have always called my home,” he said.

The others are attorney Chris O’Donnell and Jeff Thomas, a worker for the Wilkes-Barre Area School District in athletic maintenance.

Cronauer was born in the Rolling Mill Hill section of Wilkes-Barre and is the son of Nancy (Basler) and Ray Cronauer.

He is a Meyers High School and Wilkes University graduate, and has worked for a family-owned electrical contracting business, Clarence B. Cronauer & Son.

Cronauer assumed ownership of the businesses in 1989.

About Rick Cronauer

Age: 56

Education: Meyers High School graduate; BA in business administration, Wilkes University

Legal experience: Became certified as magisterial district judge in March

Family: Wife, Lynne; children, Jessica and Derrick; and several grandchildren

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