The Working Families Party has endorsed Daniel McCaffery for State Supreme Court, City & State has learned, bringing its large grassroots operation to support his run in a crucial statewide election.
The endorsement comes amid an influx of contributions to the race from groups across the political spectrum who see the state’s highest court as a significant battleground in the years to come.
“The courts wield enormous power over our freedoms, whether it’s abortion rights, workers’ rights, our children’s right to an education, or even something as fundamental as our right to pick our own leaders,” Steph Drain, Philadelphia political director for the Working Families Party, said in a statement. “We’re going all-out for Judge McCaffery this November to ensure the state’s highest court protects our freedoms, instead of chipping away at them.”
McCaffery, a Democrat first elected to Superior Court in 2019, is facing off against Republican Carolyn Carluccio, a judge on the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas who was first elected in 2009. The two are vying for a seat vacated by the late state Supreme Court Justice Max Baer, who died last year. With Democrats holding a 4-2 majority, this year’s race will not immediately decide the control of the court but could go a long way in determining the future makeup as the other justices face age limits and retention elections in the coming years.
McCaffery has also been endorsed by various organized labor and women’s rights groups, including the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO and the Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania PAC.
“I’m proud to have the endorsement and support of the Working Families Party,” McCaffery said in a statement. “We share a commitment to justice, fairness and freedom for all. As State Supreme Court Justice, I promise I’ll always uphold our constitution and the rights and freedoms enshrined in it.”
This is not the first time the WFP has stepped into statewide races it has deemed significant. In 2022, the party ran a seven-figure engagement campaign within Philadelphia in support of John Fetterman’s and Josh Shapiro’s campaigns.
The endorsement also comes after the WFP National PAC has contributed to the McCaffery campaign. According to campaign finance reports, the WFP National PAC has contributed more than $300,000 for candidates in Philadelphia.
As of the end of September, the WFP National PAC spent $14,000 on printed literature and $300,000 on canvassing for McCaffery as well as Kendra Brooks and Nic O’Rourke – WFP candidates running for Philadelphia City Council at-large seats. The canvassing campaign, already underway in the city, includes literature featuring McCaffery on one side and Brooks and O’Rourke on the other.
The WFP is also not the only group spending big on this year’s Supreme Court race. The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is spending six figures in the race and the Commonwealth Leaders Fund, a political group almost entirely funded by libertarian billionaire Jeff Yass, has spent more than $2.7 million in support of Carluccio.
From the beginning of the year through late September, Spotlight PA reported, the eight major-party candidates for Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth Courts collectively raised $8.3 million.