A Butler County attorney is the first candidate to formally announce his bid for the magisterial district judge office based in Slippery Rock.
Joe Nash, of Mercer Township, is cross-filing on the Democratic and Republican tickets for the seat now held by District Judge William S. O’Donnell, who is retiring.
Nash, who said he’s heard of at least two other candidates interested in the position, has practiced law for about 14 years.
He owns Nash Law Office in Slippery Rock, working on criminal law defense, bankruptcy, wills, estates and family law.
“I feel like I’m the ‘hometown attorney,’” Nash said.
This is his first time running for office, and he feels that his experience would help him settle cases in the district judge’s office with common sense and dignity.
“I’m excited. It’s kind of fun,” he said.
He and his wife Megan have four children, and she works as a physician with Slippery Rock Family Medicine.
Nash was born in Bradford, Pa., and his family also spent time living in Kansas; his father David was transferred there for work.
Nash graduated from the University of Kansas alongside his mother Mary, and he returned to Pennsylvania to study law at Penn State University.
While attending law school, he interned for the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office.
Growing up, he liked watching “true crime” shows, and he’s always been interested in the law and the idea of being a prosecutor.
He was an assistant district attorney in Cameron County, Texas, and was promoted to lead juvenile prosecutor before taking over as a lead trial team prosecutor in the district attorney’s office.
Since returning to Pennsylvania, he’s spent a lot of time in O’Donnell’s office, where he has gotten to know the staff plus local law enforcement and other attorneys.
“It’s a great place to practice law,” he said of the Slippery Rock area.
The office of magisterial district justice 50-3-01, which is a six-year term, serves the boroughs of Slippery Rock, Portersville, Prospect, West Liberty and Harrisville, and the townships of Slippery Roc, Worth, Brady, Franklin, Mercer and Muddy Creek.
He’s created a “Common Sense Plan for Our District Court,” which focuses on fairness, keeping the community safe by being tough on criminals, teaching young adults right from wrong without ruining their future, making the court a place where victims feel safe, and running an efficient and effective court.
Nash enjoys fly fishing and is a trustee for Slippery Rock Community Library, a member and part of the board of the Slippery Rock Rotary Club, and a board member of Growing Together Aquaponics Inc., a nonprofit that provides pre-employment transition services to students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
He has volunteered as a den leader with Cub Scout Park 310, served on the board of Gateway Community Church in Slippery Rock, and was president of the school board at Grove City Christian Academy.
He thanked his family and friends for supporting his campaign, especially his wife, who recognizes the long hours that come with the job, and his parents, who taught him about hard work and education.