James Capello announced his candidacy for Magisterial District Judge #52-2-01, a position that oversees five wards in the City of Lebanon, in an early January press release.

Capello is a 30-year-old Lebanon resident and graduate of Lebanon High School. He has previously worked in law enforcement as a Pennsylvania State Constable and as a Central Booking Agent, and he holds a B.S. in Criminal Justice Studies. Capello is a registered Republican.

The position, which serves the 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Wards in Lebanon, has been vacant since Thomas Capello, the previous judge, resigned midway through his term at the end of 2019. James Capello is the son of Thomas and current Lebanon Mayor Sherry Capello. If elected, James Capello will succeed his father.

Read More: City MDJ Thomas Capello to resign in January

The Magisterial District Judges, 512 in total, are the first level of the judicial system in Pennsylvania. They are involved in small civil lawsuits, traffic tickets, and the early stages of criminal cases, among other proceedings. The position offers a salary of over $93,000.

Judges are elected for six-year terms and do not need a legal background before holding the position, though a four-week certification class is a requirement for those without this experience. Capello received this certification in December 2019.

In the release, Capello stated, “The citizens that I would represent in Lebanon City deserve to have a fair and impartial judge serve them and it is my promise to do so. For so many, the district court is the first interaction they will have with our judicial system and they should be able to walk away knowing that the ruling they received was grounded in the law.”

In addition to his law enforcement experience, Capello has worked as a specialist in the Army National Guard and has received the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon. In 2019, Lebanon High School awarded Capello their Hall of Fame award in recognition of his football and basketball accomplishments made when he was a student.

Though Capello is registered as a Republican, he plans on cross-filing for the primary election on May 18 to appear on both parties’ ballots.

Questions about this story? Suggestions for a future LebTown article? Reach our newsroom using the contact form below and we’ll do our best to get back to you.

Do you support local news?
If you believe that Lebanon County needs independent, high-quality journalism, consider joining LebTown as a member. Your support will go directly towards stories like this and you will be helping ensure that our community has a reliable news source for years to come.

Learn more about membership and join now here.

Joshua Groh

Josh is a Cornwall native and freelancer with a love of local history and the outdoors.