Category Archives: ChesCo row offices

As Trump attacks Bannon, women Democrats in Philly suburbs take office after delicious revenge wins against the GOP

by Maria Panaritis, philly.com, 1/4/18. The title tells the 2017 story and read through the full article for the 2018 prediction, at the end:

…The lesson Wednesday, even as the president threatened to bury us all under a nuclear winter and went mano-a-mano with Bannon, is: If anyone feels the system is past the point of no return, look no further than the Pennsylvania suburbs of Philadelphia.

Good old-fashioned American democracy is alive and kicking. And it should make for an interesting 2018 — especially if Trump continues to offend reasonable Americans with incredible and insatiable ardor.

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….

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