The Boyertown Area Times
Retired deputy sheriff running for district judge
Mike Kaufman seeking post in southern Berks
Mike Kaufman doesn’t plan to just sit back and relax during his retirement.
He’s the kind of guy who likes to keep busy, who wants to find ways to contribute to his community. That’s what he did for more than three decades as a Berks County deputy sheriff, and before that as a Robesonia police officer.
Now, the 56-year-old has his sights set on another post that will keep him active and engaged while continuing his legacy of service.
Kaufman has announced he’s running in the May primary for a district judge seat, hoping to replace retiring District Judge David Glass. The district covers the southern Berks County communities of Brecknock, Caernarvon, Robeson and Union townships as well as Birdsboro and New Morgan.
“I enjoyed serving the community in my law enforcement capacity and I want to continue to serve,” he said. “With the support of the voters in this judicial district, I hope to continue my service to our community.”
Kaufman said he believes his experience in law enforcement and deep community roots have uniquely prepared him for this office, and he looks forward to spending the upcoming months speaking directly with the voters about his qualifications.
District judges issue arrest and search warrants, oversee arraignments, set bail and hold criminal preliminary hearings. They also hear complaints in civil matters, mediate landlordtenant disputes and perform weddings.
“I’ve dealt with the court system on both the criminal and civil side,” he said. “I’m probably the best qualified to fill the position with the experience that I have. I understand the workings of the judicial system so that gives me an advantage.”
Kaufman pointed out that a district judge is often the first and last person that most residents will meet within the judicial system, with most minor cases never preceding to a higher level.
“I think it’s important that they see someone who is reasonable and treats them with respect,” he said. “District judges need to make a good impression because we want to ensure that they see the system is fair.”
Kaufman, who has completed the training program required by the Pennsylvania Constitution to perform the duties of district judge, said he understands the importance of considering all the evidence in a case so he can make a decision based on facts.
“It’s vital that our next district judge is knowledgeable of the law and close to the community,” he said. “They must be fair, impartial and ensure that everyone who comes before them is treated with dignity and respect.”
Kaufman will be competing with Caernarvon Township police officer Melissa Seidel-Karpovich in the primary on both the Republican and Democratic ballots.
District judges serve sixyear terms and have annual salaries of $106,245. The primary is May 16.