Andy Milone/VTS Correspondent
Daniel Freedman, John Shugars and John Basial have cross-filed as Republican and Democratic judge candidates for Magisterial District Court 09-3-03. It’s a six-year term.
Shugars has worked for Cumberland County in the Public Defender’s Office for the past 13 years, and is a lifelong resident of central Pennsylvania, presently residing in South Middleton Township.
“I was drawn to public service by having strong role models, including two uncles who were police officers, one a Corporal in the Pennsylvania State Police and the other a Detective with the City of Harrisburg,” he said. “My father, Ray Shugars, operated Coldway Refrigeration Service while I was growing up. My Dad continued his business but became a Constable, and both he and my mother were active in local politics. My father decided to run for and was elected Constable. His, interest in the law grew and he attended and passed the exam for District Judges, thereafter, being elected in 1987, and serving 28 distinguished years as District Judge in Dauphin County.”
He said he is the best candidate for the job because of his extensive 30 years of courtroom experience, including as both prosecutor and public defender, and his experience in handling civil matters in private practice and landlord-tenant issues with his real estate background.
“I am readily able to utilize not only my vast legal knowledge, but through my actively working with law enforcement over these many years, I have a clear understanding of the processes they must follow and the challenges they endure with emotional suspects and barriers when trying to gather evidence and respond to police calls,” he said.
He took the time to highlight the COVID isolation, unemployment, financial stress, kids learning from home, civil unrest, and a rise in violence as contributing factors to “tensions being disturbingly high.”
“Certainly, recent events truly emphasize the need to not pre-judge, to follow facts, evidence, the law and to remain impartial,” he said. “I will not only apply the law, but I will make use of our community and human resources by adding recommendations for youth, addiction, marital counseling, financial resources, after school programs, community service, various hotlines to utilize to assist in crime deterrence or de-escalation of stress in hopes of preventing serious events or repeat offenses. But, above all, I will keep our residents’ safety as my foremost obligation by utilizing all appropriate measures for violent offenders.”
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