Category Archives: ChesCo row offices

Democrats gather to celebrate historic wins

On November 15, Chester County Democrats gathered at Barnaby’s in West Chester to recognize their winners in the election eight days earlier and also hear a moving tribute paid by Commissioner Kathi Cozzone to the much-honored Adam Swope, tragically killed by an overturned truck just four days earlier. “What Would Adam Do?.” in Kathi’s formulation, is a worthy guide for Democratic office-holders and activists in the days and years ahead.

Particularly celebrated were the four first Democrats to hold Chester County row offices. The first, that is, to defeat Republicans in the general election, because in the now-discontinued position of Jury Commissioner, two individuals of different parties were elected, the Dem for many years being Martha S. Smith (who also long managed the CCDC office on S. High St.).

Why are the countywide offices called “row offices? Because, so it is said, the offices were once located in a row along a hallway of the former Court House building in the center of West Chester.

There are now nine row offices. The ones up for election two years from now are: District Attorney, Sheriff, Prothonotary, Register of Wills, and Recorder of Deeds. The three County Commissioner seats, of which no more than two may be held by members of the same party, will also be on the 2019 ballot.

So now Democrats are celebrating wins by those pictured below (with thanks to Diane Welsh for these two photos):


Coroner-elect Christina VandePol, Clerk of Courts-elect Yolanda Van de Krol, and Controller-elect Margaret Reif watch the results coming in on election eve with supporters


The same three join forces on Nov. 15.

Treasurer-elect Patricia Maisano happened to miss both photos; here is a file photo of her:

Those offices may have been somewhat mysterious to Democrats in the past. Now we will be able to bring, to you and the rest of the public, news direct from the office-holders.

Row office history artifact, Martha Smith’s 2009 campaign handout:

Chesco Dems celebrate ‘unbelievable’ victory

By Michael Rellahan, Daily Local News, 11/08/17

The jolt of energy that Donald Trump’s presidential election victory last year delivered to members of the Chester County Democratic Party this year, as well as Republican miscues in Harrisburg and Washington, culminated in a stunning sweep of county row office races on Election Day, as well as victories in a plethora of down-ballot local contests from mayor to district court judge to township supervisor, those involved said Wednesday.

“Donald Trump was on the ballot,” said Brian McGinnis, chairman of the county’s Democratic Committee. “Whether or not his name was there, he was on the ballot.

“We wanted to defeat Donald Trump’s agenda in Chester County, and we did that,” he said Wednesday, hours after the size of his party’s victory became apparent. “It’s an unbelievable feeling to be a Democrat in Chester County and be part of history.”

Democrats won all four row office positions on Tuesday’s ballot, giving them the positions in the county courthouse and administrative offices they had long sought. By winning races for county clerk of courts, controller, coroner and treasurer, the party finally got a “seat at the table,” as one of the candidates had described her quest….

keep reading at Daily Local News

Wow! Dems sweep Chesco row offices!

From chesco.org unofficial results for 11/7/17. See results for all other positions at that site. Remember that some districts (such as school board) can include parts of other counties. Official results are usually about 1% higher for all candidates, after various votes not counted on election eve are registered.

TREASURER
VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN 1
PATRICIA MAISANO (DEM) . . . . . . 57,236 53.61
JACK LONDON (REP). . . . . . . . 49,453 46.32
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 77 .07

CONTROLLER
VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN 1
MARGARET REIF (DEM) . . . . . . . 57,455 54.55
NORMAN MACQUEEN (REP) . . . . . . 47,824 45.40
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 51 .05

CLERK OF COURTS
VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN 1
YOLANDA VAN DE KROL (DEM) . . . . . 56,113 52.79
ROBIN MARCELLO (REP). . . . . . . 50,119 47.15
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 65 .06

CORONER
VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN 1
CHRISTINA VANDEPOL (DEM) . . . . . 57,500 54.07
GORDON R ECK (REP) . . . . . . . 48,789 45.88
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 59 .06

What is so important about the row office results is not just that Dems finally have a seat at that table, but that the public interest will be advanced by an overall set of countywide officials who represent the diversity of the county–including these 4 highly talented and dedicated professionals.

Will Chester County GOP keep control of row offices?

[Short answer: Not if D’s really turn out to vote!]

By Michael P. Rellahan, Pottstown Mercury, 11/04/17

WEST CHESTER >> Will 2017 be a watershed year in Chester County politics?

Since its incorporation in the 18th century, the county has never elected a Democrat to its so-called Row Office positions, and the only countywide official from the party is a minority commissioner post mandated by law.

This year, the party hopes to change that, motivated by a surge in interest and participation after the election of President Donald Trump. But the county’s Republican Party has declined to surrender its 150-year-old traditional power in the courthouse quietly, citing the continued fiscal conservativism it claims has led to a list of achievements in the quality of life for the county’s 515,000-plus residents.

The signs of a possible breakthrough by Democrats are visible. It has cut into the GOP’s voter registration edge, signing up 1,269 new voters to its rolls since the May primary. There have been newly organized voter turnout groups, and a presence on social media making the case for Democratic votes….

keep reading at Pottstown Mercury