Delco judicial candidate getting word out to voters that he has Parkinson's

Paul Kurtz
January 21, 2019 - 4:00 am
Mike Farrell (pictured) is running as a Democrat for Common Pleas Judge in Delaware County.

Paul Kurtz/KYW Newsradio


DELWARE COUNTY (KYW Newsradio) — A judicial candidate in Delaware County is letting voters know that he has battled Parkinson's disease for much of his adult life. 

Mike Farrell was just 31 when he learned he had young-onset Parkinson's, a diagnosis he refused to accept.    

"I tried to use Irish stubbornness to cure it almost. I tried to carry on with my life and do everything without change. I tried to power through," he said. 

But he eventually learned that there's no powering through Parkinson's and faced his condition head-on with improved medications.    

Now 52, he's running as a Democrat for Common Pleas Judge in Delaware County, and wants to get the word out to voters. 

"I am embracing this. What Parkinson's has taught me is empathy. There's a fundamental understanding you get when you struggle in life, the humanity of a situation. A good judge has to have empathy," Farrell said. 

He's hoping his candidacy will strike a chord with voters and people with disabilities.   

As for his cognitive abilities, Farrell says he recently took the test for entrance to Mensa, the oldest IQ society in the world, and was accepted. 

Farrell is among nine Democrats running for four trial judge positions in the May primary.