David F. Bortner was the endorsed candidate of the Republican Party, and Jennifer W. Levy-Tatum earned the same nod from the Democrats. Both candidates cross-filled and appeared to be carrying their own party's nominations late Tuesday night with 83 of 223 precincts reporting.

By R. JONATHAN TULEYA

The primary election for Common Pleas judge pitted two West Chester-based attorneys against one another.

David F. Bortner was the endorsed candidate of the Republican Party, and Jennifer W. Levy-Tatum earned the same nod from the Democrats. Both candidates cross-filled and appeared to be carrying their own party's nominations late Tuesday night with 83 of 223 precincts reporting

On the Republican ballot, Bortner led with 57.5 percent of the votes to Levy-Tatum's 42.3 percent.

Among Democrats, Levy-Tatum had a received 77.7 percent to Bortner's 22.1 percent.

All results are unofficial until certified by the Board of Elections.

If the candidates win their respective primaries, it will set up a rematch in the November election.

Bortner, 54, of West Chester, is a partner in the borough firm of Parke, Barnes, Spangler and Bortner, and he is president of the Chester County Bar Association.

He has spent most of his life in Chester County. He is a graduate of West Chester Henderson High School, Princeton University and Dickinson School of Law.

In addition to his practice, which focuses on municipal and zoning law, civil litigation, and wills and estates, Bortner is a member of the Birmingham Board of Supervisors, and he is the township's police commissioner.

Bortner serves as solicitor for East Nantmeal and the zoning hearing boards in West Whiteland and Warwick. During the mid-1990s, when he lived in West Whiteland, he was a member of the township's Board of Supervisors when it blocked development of the 1,200-acre property formerly belonging to the School at Church Farm.

Bortner received a rating of "qualified" for judge from the bar association plebiscite earlier this year.

Levy-Tatum's firm is Levy-Tatum and Associates. The 52-year-old Downingtown resident was born in Jamaica, and she worked as a Spanish teacher in the Cayman Islands before moving to Philadelphia in 1987. A year later, she relocated to Chester County.

Levy-Tatum was the top-ranked female high school graduate in all of Jamaica, a ranking that helped her earn a full scholarship to the University of the West Indies. After arriving in Philadelphia, she enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business for a time before leaving school to take a full-time job with an insurance company.

Levy-Tatum graduated from Widener Law School in 1997. She worked in real estate law at a Philadelphia firm for two years before starting her own practice in West Chester in 1999. She specializes in real estate and probate law.

She works as an arbitrator for the county's Common Pleas Court, and she is an adjunct professor at Eastern University. During the campaign she has spoken about the need for diversity among the judges on the local bench.

Common Pleas judges serve 10-year terms and are currently paid an annual salary of $149,132.

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