Colleen McIntyre Osborne is just 39, but brings plenty of experience to her run for Municipal Court.
The Crestmont Farms resident has been an assistant district attorney in Montgomery County and Philadelphia and a JAG lawyer in the U.S. Army Reserve.
“I’ve always tried to do the right thing for the right reason,” she said. “Everyone wants a fair shake.”
Osborne is a Horsham native who attended Mount St. Joseph High School before earning an English degree from Georgetown. She graduated from the Drexel School of Law.
As a prosecutor, she worked in the sex crimes unit in Montgomery County and the family violence unit in Philadelphia.
“Most of my career, I was a trial attorney prosecuting cases for crimes against women and children,” she said.
Municipal Court judges handle felony preliminary hearings, misdemeanor trials, landlord/tenant disputes and small claims. There are civil, criminal and traffic divisions. Judges are assigned to a particular division, but often rotate.
“Criminal would be good. I’m a patient person. I’m a mother. I can empathize,” she said of presiding over cases where children testify.
Osborne’s husband, Dave, a Castor Gardens native, also worked for the Philadelphia district attorney’s office, where he was the assistant chief of the homicide unit.
When he was offered and accepted another job, she thought it was the right time for her family – including sons Charlie (5) and Tommy (2) – for her to run for judge.
Like many candidates, she collected nominating petitions to run in the May 16 Democratic primary for both Common Pleas and Municipal Court. There are 10 spots open on Common Pleas and two on Municipal.
Initially, the Democratic City Committee did not endorse her.
When it came to draw ballot position, she chose third – a good spot – for Common Pleas.
But one of the two endorsed candidates for Municipal Court dropped out of the race, and the party decided to endorse Osborne in his place.
So, she decided to drop off the Common Pleas ballot to run for Municipal. There are five candidates – all women – for two spots, and Osborne will be listed third.
“I’m going to give it my all,” she said. “It’s not a slam dunk. I’m going to talk to the voters and earn their vote.”
Osborne, who did some insurance defense early in her career, has worked in a non-legal job for the School District of Philadelphia since leaving the DA’s office last September. She had worked in the DA’s post-conviction relief unit and spent some time in Veterans Court. She’s been in the Army Reserve for 10 years, handling defense work.
As for the campaign, she’s done some pro bono work for Northeast Democratic ward leaders, and thanks the 57th Ward’s Pat Parkinson for helping her nab the party endorsement. She also credits Wayne Miller, the longtime business manager for Sprinkler Fitters Local 692, for aid on the campaign trail.
Osborne has been recommended by the Philadelphia Bar Association and endorsed by the Sprinkler Fitters, Plumbers, Electricians Local 98, IUPAT District Council 21, Stagehands Local 8, the AFL-CIO and Communications Workers of America Local 13000. She’s hoping to return to a city courtroom, this time as a judge.
“I think it’s a call to service,” she said. “The city needs good judges.” ••