google-site-verification=ECKh3fy9Ii-RaaABr98yK3ABMvU45OE8md7ZaD1zL2g Judge Traci McDonald Kemp | About




"Through my experience as a practicing lawyer, Deputy District attorney, and Magisterial District Judge, I’ve learned and lived by the principle that our community benefits from judges who have a commitment to justice, knowledge of the law, a strong work ethic, and respect for the people who come before them.”"

On May 21, 2019, Judge Traci Mcdonald Kemp won both the Republican and Democrat primary elections becoming the nominee for Court of Common Pleas from both parties.

Because of her win across party lines in the 2019 Primary Election, Governor Tom Wolf placed McDonald Kemp’s name before the state Senate and on June 27 the Senate unanimously confirmed her interim appointment as judge. The governor signed her commission and McDonald Kemp will be sworn in on August 30, 2019.  Her name will still appear on the ballot on November 5, 2019 in the General Election for a 10-year term.


As a lifelong resident of Washington County, Judge Traci McDonald Kemp believes in the future of the County and has dedicated her life to serving it.  

In 2015 Judge McDonald Kemp was elected Magisterial District Judge, presiding over criminal, civil, landlord/tenant, traffic, and summary cases, and is responsible for issuing arrest and search warrants. She serves McDonald, Cecil, Robinson, half of Imperial, Lawrence, Muse, Venice, Hickory, Mt. Pleasant, Southview, and Westland.  


Prior to being elected to the bench, Judge McDonald Kemp was in front of it prosecuting the most heinous criminals in the District Attorney’s office for fourteen years.  Her work in this office has had a profound and meaningful impact on the lives of those in Washington County.  As the Deputy District Attorney, she comforted victims of crime and prosecuted criminals who prey upon children, families, and seniors. 

The daughter of respected and successful businessman and community leader, James R. “Cookie” McDonald, Traci was born and raised in Washington County and is a graduate of Washington High School.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Clarion University and obtained her law degree from the University of Pittsburgh after a brief career as a college admissions counselor.  McDonald-Kemp, her husband and their two daughters reside in McDonald, PA. 

Juris Doctor

University of Pittsburgh School of Law


B.S. Communications & Graduate Studies- Business Administration

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

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The Washington County Court of Common Pleas is one of sixty general trial courts in Pennsylvania.  Courts of Common Pleas hear all major criminal and civil cases, appellate cases from minor courts and those not assigned to another court, and cases involving children and family.  The Washington County Court of Common Pleas is comprised of six judges, who share a variety of responsibilities. The Judges are elected to ten-year terms and are eligible for reelection on a yes-no retention question.


Awards and Recognitions

  • Appointed Legislative District 7 Representative- Special Court Judge’s Association

  • Roast Recipient- Lemoyne Center

  • Waller Humanitarian Award Recipient- Washington County Community Foundation

  • Civil Rights Award Recipient-  Washington Branch NAACP

  • “Women of Achievement Award”- Allegheny Health Network

  • Rose Day Honoree for Outstanding Leadership and Service in Government- Zonta Club of Washington

  • Contributing Author- “Rural Child Sexual Assault in the African-American Church Community”- The Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment

  • Northrop Vocational Award- Washington Rotary Club

  • Women Shaping the Law, “The Art of Justice,” Honoree- Women and Girls Foundation of Allegheny County

  • Outstanding Service Award- Miss Black Teenage Scholarship Pageant

  • “One Kid at a Time” Youth Advocate Award- Academy for Adolescent Health, Inc.

  • Athena Award Recipient- Washington County Chamber of Commerce