As we redouble our efforts to convince voters to support our candidates and our principles, may we always remain inspired by the shining example of Adam Swope, whose life was tragically cut short in November 2017.
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). Chesco Dems have a long history of contesting seats (see prior candidates, 2010-17, here) but 2018 is exceptional: every Chesco seat in Harrisburg and Washington will have a highly qualified Dem candidate on the ballot.
For State Committee members, who like committeepersons were elected on May 15, see here.
All the candidates below won the primary in their district and therefore now are our endorsed candidates. US House of Representatives district 6, all PA House seats, and half of PA Senate seats will be on the November 6 general election ballot in Chester County, and Governor Wolf (with new running mate John Fetterman) and Senator Casey will be running for reelection.
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. Endorsed by PA AFL-CIO.
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. Endorsed by PA AFL-CIO.
web site: official, campaign
Facebook: official, campaign
John 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.
US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 6
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). Endorsed by PA AFL-CIO and Sierra Club.
SPECIAL ELECTION, US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, DISTRICT 7
The former heavily-gerrymandered US House district 7 will vote in a special election to fill that seat for the few weeks from election day through the end of 2018! The Dem candidate is Mary Gay Scanlon, who will also be the Dem candidate in the new US House district 5 (but no one in Chester County will have district 5 on their ballot). If she’s on your ballot, vote for her, that’s all. See her site here. See the map and description of the former 7th district here (in light blue on the map, about 1/3 of the middle of Chester County). But be sure also to vote for Chrissy Houlahan in US House district 6, in which all of Chester County now lies. Very unusual: many of us will get to vote in 2 US House districts at the same time!
PA SENATE (districts 26 and 44 are on the ballot in 2018, districts 9 and 19 in 2020)
PA Senate, DISTRICT 26 (Easttown and Willistown in Chester County, and the rest in DelCo)
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.
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.
Born and raised in western PA, Katie earned her undergraduate degree in athletic training at Penn State and interned for the Pittsburgh Steelers. She earned her postgrad 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 high school. She is an athletic trainer for local universities and an adjunct professor of kinesiology. In 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)
A community activist, educator and 20-year resident of Landenberg, Sue intends to work diligently and collaboratively for fiscal accountability in Harrisburg, economic growth and new jobs, educational excellence, infrastructure repair and improvement, conservation of natural resources, and quality health and wellness services for all. For 14 years, she has worked with the Avon Grove School District as a volunteer coordinator, Title I instructor for reading remediation, and currently manages the high school library. Earlier, she was president of the local MOMS club, a national organization for stay-at-home mothers. She is taking local politicians to task on her own and as an OxGrove Democrats ActNow and Fair Districts PA volunteer. A native of New Jersey, she attended public schools and earned a B.A. in English and Communications from The College of New Jersey. She is married to Michael Soltis; their two sons are students at Penn State University.
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, born and raised in Pottstown, graduated from St Pius X High School. She and her husband Stephen Hacker purchased their first home, in which they still reside, in 1987. Their 3 children are all graduates of the Owen J. Roberts School District: Clayton, a graduate of the University of Montana, Craig, a graduate of Temple University, and Rosalee, a senior at The Rochester Institute of Technology. Having tried college three times, Pam realized that college wasn’t for her. She was hired as a secretary for Bechtel Construction to assist the Electrical Engineering Department during the construction of the Limerick Nuclear Power plant. During this experience she was introduced to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). In 1984, Pam was accepted into IBEW Local 380 apprenticeship program. She became an industrial and commercial construction electrician and was twice elected to the Executive Board by the membership. Now entering her 34th year as a construction electrician, she continues to work and support the IBEW as member of 98 North. Endorsed by PA AFL-CIO.
PA HOUSE, DISTRICT 74 (Caln, Coatesville, Downingtown, East Caln, East Fallowfield, Modena, Parkesburg, Sadsbury, South Coatesville, and Valley)
As Senior Pastor of New Life in Christ Fellowship Church in Coatesville for 27 years, Pastor Dan has envisioned, led, and sponsored missionary trips domestically and abroad. NLICF has sponsored, collected, and delivered over 500 care packages to our armed service members in Afghanistan in conjunction with the “Adopt a Soldier” organization. Dan has led initiatives for fire victims and the beautification of Ash Park (Coatesville). He has launched many drives bringing food and clothes to thousands of families. He has partnered with local law enforcement agencies to share views; to aid in the fight against gun violence, he facilitated a “Guns for Amnesty Program.” Dan and his family head the Willia Mae Williams Memorial Scholarship Fund, named after his late mother, awarding merit scholarships to young people based on academic achievement. A graduate of Geneva College, Biblical Seminary, Beaver Falls, PA (B.S. Mdiv and DMin), Dan has been married to Baleria Alston Williams for 37 years. They have three children and 1 grandson. Endorsed by PA AFL-CIO.
PA HOUSE, DISTRICT 155 (East Brandywine, East Pikeland, Phoenixville (PART, Ward North), Spring City, Upper Uwchlan, Uwchlan, West Brandywine, and West Vincent)
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. “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” Endorsed by PA AFL-CIO and Conservation Voters of PA.
PA HOUSE, DISTRICT 156 (Birmingham, East Goshen, Thornbury, West Goshen North, West Chester, and Westtown)
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. Endorsed by PA AFL-CIO.
PA HOUSE, DISTRICT 157 (Phoenixville East, Middle and West, Schuylkill, Tredyffrin, and part of Montco.
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. Endorsed by PA AFL-CIO, NOW SEPA, PSEA, AFL-CIO PA AFSCME District Council 88, Sister District.
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)
Chris has lived in Chester County for 25 years and she and her husband have raised three kids here. She has worked for PA representatives Barb McIlvaine Smith and Carolyn Comitta and Senator Andy Dinniman for a total of 12 years. She now plans to serve in a different role: to represent her home, her neighbors and her community in Harrisburg. She wants to ensure that our economy and business environment are a foundation for growth; she wants our State to live within its means and be able to lend a hand to our neighbors in need. Chris finds herself in the majority of reasonableness and moderation, in the middle, to the left of the hard right and the right of the extreme left. Chris trusts women to make their own decisions about things that should be personal. She believes we should listen to one another, respect alternative positions, and discuss solutions to hard problems in a civil manner. Chris lives in West Bradford. Endorsed by PA AFL-CIO and PSEA.
PA HOUSE, DISTRICT 160 (Kennett, Kennett Square, Pennsbury, Pocopson, and part of Delaware County)
Born in Washington D.C. of West Indian parents, Anton earned degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Hofstra School of Law. As a court-appointed lawyer in Miami and a volunteer in Chester County, he defended the rights of those who could not afford to hire a lawyer. As a senior adviser to two Presidents at Cheyney University, in addition to implementing and enforcing the rules on workplace harassment and discrimination, he launched and directed a campus center that trains small, women and minority-owned businesses to compete for government contracts, throughout Pennsylvania. He has helped grow Open Connections and The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County and has helped The Nature Conservancy to engage with diverse communities. With his background in finding common ground and solutions that work for diverse groups, he will listen to the residents of the PA 160th, knowing that no one person or party has a monopoly on solving the challenges we face.
See video interview here
PA HOUSE, DISTRICT 167 (Charlestown, East Whiteland, Easttown, Malvern, West Pikeland, West Whiteland, and Willistown)
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. “To get the new laws we need, we need new lawmakers.”