2018 Candidates

2018 is a critical year! Will Dem momentum from November 2017 continue? You alone, as activists and voters and influencers of friends, neighbors and relatives, can determine the answer (including by helping maintain and enhance our presence on social media). All US House of Representatives seats (3 in Chester County), all PA House seats, and half of PA Senate seats are on the May 15 ballot, and Governor Wolf and Senator Casey will be running for reelection. Satisfying though the November 2017 election was, the statewide and national impact of our resolve awaits November 2018.

Also, in the primary election, Democratic voters will elect committeepersons (two per precinct throughout Chester County), who keep their constituents informed before and at elections and participate in party conventions.

Voters will also choose members of the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee (4 men and 4 women). State Committee meets at least three times a year, most often in Harrisburg, to discuss political issues and consider endorsing candidates running for state-wide office (that is a separate process from the Chesco Dem Nominating Convention in February).

The list below shows Dem candidates above the local level who are known to be actively campaigning to appear on the May 15 primary ballot. Please send additions and corrections here.


Bob Casey (incumbent)
Bob Casey was raised to believe that “all public service is a trust, given in faith and accepted in honor,” and he has brought that to every office he has held, including Pennsylvania Auditor General, State Treasurer, and U.S. Senator. In Harrisburg, Bob Casey focused on making government more accountable and responsive to the needs of Pennsylvanians.Since becoming in 2006 the first Pennsylvania Democrat elected to a full Senate term since 1962, he has worked to create family-sustaining jobs and foster financial security for Pennsylvania families; to protect our children and invest in their futures; to ensure safety at home and respect for America abroad; to promote honesty and accountability in government; to preserve the dignity of the vulnerable of all ages; and to advocate for his constituents and help them solve problems they face. He is a voice for those who are threatened by Congressional Republicans’ recent attempts to give tax cuts to the ultra-rich and to undermine Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. See his many other important legislative priorities here.

web site: official, campaign
Facebook: official, campaign


Tom Wolf (incumbent)
Besides having more than quintupled the size of his family business, the Wolf Organization, a distributor of lumber and other building products, Governor Wolf has a long record of public service As Secretary of Revenue in Governor Rendell’s cabinet, he instituted reforms that grew and strengthened the state lottery and laid the foundation for millions of dollars in additional benefits for seniors. He has chaired York County United Way, the York County Community Foundation, and the York College Board of Trustees. He has also been active in the York Jewish Community Center, the Memorial Hospital of York, and WITF, a regional public television system. In 2014 he carried Chester County by some 5,600 votes on his way to being elected Governor by the very substantial margin of almost 10%. In office, Tom has fought to change Harrisburg. He has prohibited administration employees from accepting gifts from lobbyists, reformed legal contracting to end pay to play, restored the one billion dollar cut to education made in the previous administration, expanded Medicaid, given more than 50,000 seniors the opportunity to age in their homes, and made Pennsylvania a national leader in fighting the opioid and heroin epidemic.
web site: official, campaign
Facebook: official, campaign


Aryanna Berringer
At the age of 18, Aryanna joined the US Army and was assigned in Jordan to assist Special Forces operations in the run-up to invading Iraq. After being discharged honorably, she worked at Tobyhanna Army Depot in Wilkes-Barre as an electronics technician. She earned a degree in Business Administration, Operations Management, and a Master’s in Project Management. She consulted for the Department of Defense and a number of Fortune 500 companies. While living in Kennett Square, she ran for U.S. House of Representatives against an entrenched incumbent in the 16th district. She then created the non-profit American Nutritional Security to advocate better nutritional standards in schools and military installations. She lives in Murrysville with her family.

Kathi Cozzone
Kathi Cozzone was sworn in as Chester County Commissioner on January 6, 2008 and was re-elected to office on November 8, 2011 and November 3rd, 2015. She has served as Vice Chair of the Board since 2011.  Her most recent role in the private sector was a Corporate Business manager at Rodale Inc. in Emmaus, PA. In 2010, she graduated from the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania’s Academy for Excellence in County Government. In 2017, she was elected First Vice President of CCAP, after having served as Second Vice President the preceding year.

Madeleine Dean
State Representative Madeleine Dean (153rd district, since 2012) earned her BA at La Salle University, her law degree at Widener University Delaware Law, and attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government. She practiced law in Philadelphia and later opened a three-woman general law practice in Glenside. She taught composition, persuasive writing and rhetoric, business writing, legal writing, and ethics during 11 years as an assistant professor of English at La Salle University. She is also a writer and a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, and other publications. She was elected in 2012 to represent Pennsylvania’s 153rd Legislative District. She sits on several committees, including Appropriations, Judiciary, Policy, Urban Affairs, State Government, and Finance, and on the Pennsylvania Commission for Women. She is Co-Chair of the PA Safe Caucus, a coalition of legislators and advocacy groups dedicated to curbing gun violence. Madeleine and her husband have three grown sons.

John Fetterman
John Fetterman grew up in York and attended Albright College, where he played on the football team. In the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, mentoring a boy whose parents died of AIDS motivated John to join AmeriCorps, serving in Pittsburgh’s historic Hill District. He earned a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, then started a GED program in Braddock PA. In 2005, encouraged by his students, John ran successfully for mayor. As mayor, John has applied a hands-on approach to rebuild his community and attract new residents and jobs. In 2016, he ran for U.S. Senate to champion all struggling towns. An outsider, he earned 20% of the vote in a 4-way primary, emerging as a progressive voice for working people on issues like inequality, racial justice, and ending the failed war on drugs.

Craig Lehman

Hometown: Mount Joy, PA. Donegal High School 1981; U.S. Navy 1981-1985; Shippenburg University 1985-1989, B.S. Public Adminstration; Penn State University 1989-1991, M.S. Policy Analysis; Research Analyst, PA General Assembly, 1991-1992; Budget Analyst, PA General Assembly, 1992-2007; Lancaster City Council 1998-2002; Lancaster City Controller 2006-2007; Lancaster County Commissioner 2008-Present.

Mike Stack (incumbent)
Mike Stack served four terms in the State Senate representing the 5th district in Northeast Philadelphia, and was the Democratic Chair of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. He is a graduate of LaSalle College High School and LaSalle University and earned his law degree from Villanova University Law School in 1992. He has been a Fellow of The University of Pennsylvania Leadership Academy of the Fels Institute of Government, member of the Board of Trustees of Temple University and of the Holocaust Awareness Museum, and member of the Board of Directors of Self-Help Movement Inc. He is a member of the Democratic State Committee. Mike was elected as Lieutenant governor in 2014.


Chrissy Houlahan
Chrissy earned her engineering degree from Stanford with a ROTC scholarship and received her M.S. in Technology and Policy from MIT. She served three years active duty as a Captain in the US Air Force, and 13 years in the Reserves. She was founding COO of B-Lab (a nonprofit that promotes B Corporations and good business practices) and President and COO/CFO for Springboard Collaborative (a Philadelphia-based nonprofit focused on improving early childhood literacy in underserved communities country-wide).



Daylin Leach
A former attorney and professor, Daylin has been a member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly since 2002. In 2008, he was elected Senator of the 17th District. He is currently the Minority Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a member of the Appropriations, Education, Environmental Resources and Energy, Labor and Industry, and State Government Committees. He is a graduate of Temple University and the University of Houston Law Center. He serves on the boards of the Bryn Mawr Film Institute and the Norristown Farm Park. He is also a member of the Lower Merion Conservancy and the Philadelphia World Affairs Council.


Drew McGinty
Hailing from Jenkintown, Drew McGinty is a lifelong resident of Pennsylvania. He worked his way through college, earning his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from LaSalle University and later a Master’s degree in Information Systems from Drexel University. Drew has worked as an Information Technology (IT) professional for over 30 years managing large, complex, and global projects and applying technology to solve business problems in the health insurance, health and hospital systems, pharmaceutical, and banking and financial industries. In addition to his professional career, he spent much of his free time over the years volunteering for charitable organizations. Drew is not a career politician, but someone who cares deeply about the people in Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District and is dedicated to bringing positivity and a shared vision to Washington.


Elizabeth Moro
Elizabeth grew up in Michigan as one of twelve children in a working-class home. She earned degrees from Western Michigan University in political science, women’s studies, and public policy. As a realtor and managing broker, she knows how hard it is for middle-class families to afford a home, college, and all the things her family struggled to provide. Yet now the US government strives to deregulate Wall Street and the banks, threaten retirement savings, destroy healthcare, starve public schools to hand over public money to for-profit charter schools, and dismantle the EPA at the expense of clean air and water, while rolling back your civil liberties.
Dan Muroff
Dan is a graduate of Drexel University and IIT-Chicago Kent College of Law. He worked in environmental policy in Illinois, thenk for several congressmen as a policy adviser and chief of staff to U.S. Reps. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts and Joe Hoeffel of Pennsylvania. More recently he has been an attorney in private practice working mostly for nonprofits and charitable organizations. He’s been a ward leader in Philadelphia and served as president of CeaseFirePA, a statewide gun violence prevention organization, and Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, a organization promoting sustainable environmental policy.


Molly Sheehan
Molly attended Haverford College and earned her PhD in biochemistry and biophysics at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned the Clarence and Lily Pickett Award for Quaker Leadership for her work with initiatives for women’s cooperatives and soccer programs in Uganda. She is now a medical researcher working to produce new technologies to advance cancer research. As a scientist, Molly plans to bring to Congress a fresh perspective backed with facts and experiences and to use real evidence to solve problems.



Christina Hartman
Originally from Lancaster, Christina attended George Washington University and Fordham University. She then, from South Sudan to Afghanistan, helped organizations strengthen their countries’ democracies through civic education, elections, and youth leadership development. She has also worked with the Joyful Heart Foundation, a national organization pursuing justice for sexual assault and domestic violence survivors, Church World Service, the Non-Profit Resource Network at Millersville University, and the Parish Resource Center. She first ran for this seat in 2016.
on issues see also Lancaster Stands Up

Jessica King
Jessica attended Conestoga Valley School District, Lancaster Mennonite High School and Eastern Mennonite University. She later earned an MBA from Bard College. In 2010, she became Executive Director of ASSETS, a company supporting businesses that want to give back to the common good, including supporting business owners to hire individuals with barriers to employment, pay family-sustaining wages, and increase employee ownership. Jess is a working mom, small business champion, and a leader in local economic development.
on issues see also Lancaster Stands Up

Charles Klein

Richard Griffiths Smith Jr.
Richard graduated from Alma College in Michigan with a BA in History. In the mid-1980s, he was Financial Futures Manager for HSBC, Hong Kong location. He is now lead server at the Great Expectations Cafe at the Women and Babies Hospital in Lancaster. An “independent fiscally conservative Democrat,” Smith believes that “The collective American consciousness needs to regain the kind of excitement and creativity that it experienced under FDR and Jack Kennedy – a sense of reform, a sense of challenge, and a passionate desire for everyone to move forward together.”


Gary Wegman
Gary Wegman believes we cannot afford the politics as usual that have led to gridlock and bad ideas in Washington. So much of our region has been left behind, while people, small businesses, and entire communities have fallen through the cracks. The only medical professional in the race, Gary wants to fix our broken health care system and build on the progress made by the Affordable Care Act. Career politicians have broken our system. They can’t fix it if they don’t understand it. As a dentist in Reading, Gary is constantly working out payment plans and discounts for those whose insurance failed to cover their necessary care. Too much money goes to insurance company and pharmaceutical company profits. Incumbent Lloyd Smucker voted for the TrumpCare plan that would have denied 30 million Americans access to health care over the next 10 years. The only small business owner in the race, Gary has balanced budgets, made payroll, and created jobs in our region – at his medical practice and on his farm. On the board of the Reading Redevelopment Authority, Gary worked to successfully redevelop and renovate blighted properties and support renewal in one of America’s most economically depressed cities. Gary understands that none of us succeed unless we all succeed.

on issues see also Lancaster Stands Up

(PA Senate districts 26 and 44 are on the ballot in 2018, but districts 9 and 19 not till 2020)

PA Senate, DISTRICT 26 (Easttown and Willistown in Chester County, and the rest in DelCo)

Tim Kearney

Tim Kearney is an architect, adjunct professor, and mayor of Swarthmore. Tim is a long-time resident of the 26th district where he raised his public school educated kids with his wife and small business partner Claudia Cueto. Tim has been working as a community leader and problem solver on issues that affect every Pennsylvanian. A lifelong progressive Democrat, he believes that every child in Pennsylvania, no matter their zip code, deserves a first-class public education. As State Senator, he’ll make sure that out-of-state corporations and special interests pay their fair share, and will stand up to Republicans who keep balancing the state budget on the backs of Pennsylvania’s working and middle class. Mayor Tim’s outrage over Republican legislators’ eagerness to sacrifice Pennsylvania’s magnificent natural resources in service to industry greed also drives his campaign. Tim will fight special interests to make sure every Pennsylvanian has clean water to drink and clean air to breathe.

Tanner Rouse
Tanner served in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office as an Assistant District Attorney for 7 years. Growing up in Phoenixville with his 7 siblings, Tanner was taught about the importance of giving back to his community from a young age. Tanner lives in Upper Providence with his wife and one-year-old son, Will. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he volunteered for campaigns in his free time, and a J.D. from Fordham University Law School, where he worked in the Urban Policy Clinic. He is running for office to create a more collaborative, more transparent government that seeks out real solutions for real people.

PA Senate District 44 (Parts of Berks and Montgomery counties plus, in Chester County: Caln, East Brandywine, East Coventry, East Nantmeal, East Pikeland, East Vincent, Elverson, Honey Brook twp and borough, North Coventry, South Coventry, Spring City, Upper Uwchlan, Uwchlan, Wallace, Warwick, West Brandywine, West Caln, West Nantmeal, and West Vincent.

Katie Muth
Born and raised in western PA, Katie earned her undergraduate degree in athletic training at Penn State and worked as an intern for the Pittsburgh Steelers. She earned her post-graduate degree in athletic training at the Arizona School of Health Sciences, in Mesa AZ, and provided health services for student athletes at a Phoenix area public high school. She is an athletic trainer for local universities and an adjunct professor of kinesiology. For the Clinton campaign, she helped coordinate training for volunteers and events to engage the local community. Becoming Chair of Indivisible Mid Montco, with over 400 members, and the fact that women’s multi-perspective view accounts for only 18.2% of state legislators motivated her to run for office. Her experience with social justice advocacy and making daily decisions regarding people’s health and well-being make her ready to bring logic, compassion, and reason to Harrisburg.



PA HOUSE, DISTRICT 13 (Atglen, East Nottingham, Elk, Franklin, Highland, London Grove, Londonderry, Lower Oxford, New London, Oxford, Penn, Upper Oxford, West Fallowfield, West Grove, West Nottingham, and 2 municipalities in Lancaster County)

RJ Hill (Ronald James) Hill

PA HOUSE, DISTRICT 26 (East Coventry, East Nantmeal, East Vincent, Elverson, Honey Brook borough and township, North Coventry, South Coventry, Wallace, Warwick, West Caln, West Nantmeal, West Sadsbury, and a small part of Montgomery County)

Pam Hacker

PA HOUSE, DISTRICT 74 (Caln, Coatesville, Downingtown, East Caln, East Fallowfield, Modena, Parkesburg, Sadsbury, South Coatesville, and Valley)

Josh Maxwell
Josh Maxwell
Mayor Josh Maxwell is a lifelong resident of Downingtown, Chester County, and is proud to have served as its mayor for the past 8 years. Elected in 2010 as Downingtown’s youngest mayor at the age of 26, Mayor Maxwell has been an active advocate and leader for his hometown. During his first two terms, Josh started the Chester County Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, secured over $200 million in funding for a train-oriented development in Downingtown’s downtown and signed 5 consecutive no-tax-increase budgets. Besides serving in the part-time mayoral position, Josh works full-time for a USAID subcontractor, developing strategic communication campaigns for education, public finance and gender-based violence programs in Africa. He holds a BA from West Chester University, an MPA from the University of Pennsylvania.



Frank Pryor

Frank has a track record of success in Higher Education, Government, Health Care Administration, Business Management, and Political Campaigns. He has a BA from University of Massachusetts, MA from Villanova University, and is ABD from Howard University. As a faculty member in Political Science at Villanova University since 1997, he has taught a range of courses including Public Policy, State & Local Government, and Political Economy. He has served as Chief of Staff for a city councilor in a major Northeastern city, providing legislative leadership in Jobs & Economic Development, Education, Housing, Health Care, and Public Safety. He also served on the Board of Directors for the largest anti-poverty & community development agency in New England. In 2014, Frank was appointed to Governor Tom Wolf’s Transition Team. Frank serves as a member of the Regional Planning Committee for the Western Chester County Chamber of Commerce. He is motivated by the value of family, friends, neighbors and community. He resides in East Fallowfield, with his wife and two young sons and also has a grown daughter.

Dan Williams

PA HOUSE, DISTRICT 155 (East Brandywine, East Pikeland, Phoenixville (PART, Ward North), Spring City, Upper Uwchlan, Uwchlan, West Brandywine, and West Vincent)

Ronald Graham

Danielle Friel Otten

Danielle, a mother of two, is tired of seeing education, healthcare, and the environment under-prioritized by our state legislature. Meanwhile, the gas and oil lobbies peddle money and influence, and elected officials choose corporate profits over public health, public safety, and preserving natural resources. Career politicians promote tax breaks and deregulation, and allow corporations to abuse our private property rights, contaminate our environment, and jeopardize our health, welfare, and safety. The Mariner East II pipeline project is a disturbing example of how corporate influence wreaks havoc in our communities.  As a founder of Uwchlan Safety Coalition and Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety, Danielle has been a leader in the fight to demand transparency, accountability, and corporate responsibility while the incumbent representative has sat silently as her constituents have begged her to be their voice. Danielle believes in the philosophy of servant leadership and in collaboration, civility, and the common good: quality affordable healthcare, a first-rate public education, personal choices about family planning, and the responsibility to be stewards of our Earth.

PA HOUSE, DISTRICT 156 (Birmingham, East Goshen, Thornbury, West Goshen North, West Chester, and Westtown)

Carolyn Comitta (incumbent)
Two term Mayor of West Chester from 2010 – 2017, Carolyn earned her Master of Science in Education, Widener University. She continues to mentor to students and has organized the attendance of over 2000 local students at the annual Health and Environment Conference at the United Nations. She is Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Thomas Comitta Associates. She served on the West Chester Borough Council from 2006 – 2010.


PA HOUSE, DISTRICT 157 (Phoenixville East, Middle and West, Schuylkill, Tredyffrin, and part of Montco.

Melissa Shusterman
Melissa is a 4th-generation resident of the greater Phoenixville area. She worked for several start-ups and national media companies such as The Food Network, VH1, fx, HGTV, MTV, QVC and fuse network, and then founded her own business, Fedora Media, a digital video production company that provides high quality digital video for various devices and platforms. She is very active in her community and with local charities. Melissa is not a career politician, but a passionate citizen who loves her community and is fed up with the political gridlock in Harrisburg. As Representative, Melissa will fight to protect our seniors, put Pennsylvania on the path to fiscal responsibility, and put an end to the Keystone tests.

PA HOUSE, DISTRICT 158 (Avondale, East Bradford, East Marlborough, London Britain, New Garden, Newlin, West Bradford, West Goshen (PART, Districts Middle and South), and West Marlborough)

Mark ‘Rick’ Nelms
Rick is running for State Representative because we need someone who will advocate for our residents, not special interests. He believes in fiscal sanity and social justice. He is not a politician, and doesn’t intend to become a career politician. He will not serve more than two terms (4 years). He has a unique perspective as a blue collar worker, a teacher, a coach, a former small business owner, and a supervisor in agriculture.

PA HOUSE, DISTRICT 160 (Kennett, Kennett Square, Pennsbury, Pocopson, and part of Delaware County)

Anton Andrews

PA HOUSE, DISTRICT 167 (Charlestown, East Whiteland, Easttown, Malvern, West Pikeland, West Whiteland, and Willistown)

Kristine Howard

Kristine spent most of the last decade working for progressive candidates and serving as a Democratic committeeperson from Malvern while balancing the responsibilities of work and single-mother parenting. She was raised in a New Jersey family that valued service and education. After working her way through UPenn and law school at Rutgers in Camden, she married and spent five years in New Mexico, where she ran a small legal and social services organization while her family grew. After returning to Pennsylvania, she focused on raising her three boys and four girls while working for Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and acting as an advocate for children in foster care. She now works for the County investigating child abuse cases. Her experiences as a social worker, mother and political activist came together in her decision to run for State Representative.
campaign email: electkristinepa167@gmail.com

Jeff McFall
Jeff wishes to be a new voice in Harrisburg, that addresses immediate needs while providing vision for the future of our Commonwealth, a representative to speak up regarding the very real issues we face on a day to day basis, as well as planning for future generations. The $1.5 billion budget shortfall costs us all, young and old, working and retired. The cost of healthcare continues to be an issue we all wrestle with daily. Jeff’s family saw their monthly premiums increase over 20% and co-pays increase by as much as 100%, while overall benefits were significantly decreased. And PA families are impacted every day by our public schools: we must address funding to expand early childhood education, transportation for after-school activities, and taking care of the teachers who help shape the next generation.