MORRISVILLE >> A Morrisville Borough Councilwoman and a Lower Makefield Police Officer are vying for the job of district justice.
Corryn Kronnagel is running on the Democratic ticket while Tom Augustin appears as a Republican and an independent in the race for district magistrate in Lower Makefield, Yardley and Morrisville boroughs.
The Advance of Bucks County asked each of the candidates to respond to a question about why are they running - in their own words - and to provide background on themselves. Here are their responses:
Corryn Kronnagel (D)
I am running for District Judge because the people of Morrisville, Yardley and Lower Makefield deserve a fair and impartial judge in their Community Court.
For so many, the District Court is the first interaction they’ll have with our judicial system and they must walk away knowing that the ruling that they received was grounded in the law. This ensures fairness to every person who walks into the Courtroom, and continued faith in our rule of law.
Although it is not a requirement under Pennsylvania law that a District Judge be a licensed attorney, it is clear that the education an attorney receives in law school, and the experience when they begin practicing, provides the training that our District Judge needs. As so many people represent themselves in the District Court, it is essential that the Judge knows how to apply the facts to the law.
As a practicing trial attorney with nearly a decade’s experience in courts throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, I have the experience and education that this Court needs. I have the knowledge and ability to make a ruling at the hearing, and do not have to make Plaintiffs and Defendants wait five days for a response, which for many can mean the difference between receiving necessary funds due to them, or unsure as to whether you will be able to remain in your home. The District Judge position is the best way that I can use everything that I have learned throughout my career to truly make our Community the best place it can be.
I have been in the legal field for nearly 20 years, starting as a legal secretary and legal assistant. Once I began law school, I worked as a paralegal and law clerk during the day and went to school at night. I have been working as an attorney for almost 10 years, handling different types of cases, representing Plaintiffs and Defendants, in both civil and criminal matters. I am also very involved with my Community, having begun working on the Planning Commission as soon as I graduated from law school, and now am in my second-term as a Councilwoman.
Tom Augustin (R)(I)
My life experiences, my commitment to the community, as well as my experience in law enforcement have provided me with unique skills which lend themselves perfectly to this elected position. Our town needs a judge with the right temperament and moral fortitude to be a fair and impartial magistrate. I have spent my career listening to victims and offenders with a fair and open mind so that justice can be dispensed and the law upheld.
I have been involved in thousands of cases in District Court. I know our community and have utilized the local and county resources to help my neighbors. My priority is ensuring justice by applying the law equally and looking at each case individually.
My career has afforded me hands-on experience regarding the inner workings of the legal system at the local and county level. I am recognized as an expert witness in Accident Reconstruction in District Court and the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County. Most notably, I am a member of the Bucks County Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) and was honored in 2018 in recognition for leadership and service.
Being part of this team has given me invaluable experiences and insights in dealing with people who are in need of mental health or alcohol/drug treatment. In addition to upholding the law, I am confident that knowing the resources available and having relationships with local agencies will allow me to support the residents coming before me as the Magisterial District Judge.
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has certified me as a Magisterial District Judge. I am not seeking this position to further political aspirations in any way. I cannot think of a better way to serve my community than to assume this position for the duration of my career.
My wife and I reside in Lower Makefield where we proudly raised two Pennsbury graduates. I have been a Lower Makefield police officer for 31 years, currently as Corporal. I have a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Trenton State College.
As a member of the Falls Township Fire Company, I was recently honored for 40 years of dedicated service. I have assumed leadership roles in the township’s athletic programs- PAA, Morrisville Little League and LMFA. I served on the Afton Elementary PTO board and was President of two parent clubs at Pennsbury High School.