The Chester County (Pennsylvania) Democratic Committee believes in Freedom, Fairness, and Opportunity for all Americans, regardless of what they believe, who they are, and where they came from. Join CCDC in making Chester County a better place for all!
Reps. Pat Meehan (R-PA 07, now 5) and Lloyd Smucker (R-PA 16, now 11) no longer represent any part of Chester county. As our farewell, you can download the latest reports (by acute citizen observers) on their legislative and related activity:
Below, for the record, are candidate profiles in Congressional Districts 7 and 16 as of February 20, 2018. Based on what we know at this time, we have moved one candidate formerly running in the 7th to our list for the 6th. The information below will no longer be updated as no part of Chester County remains in the 7th or 16th district.
US HOUSE, DISTRICT 7 (or 5, on the new map; if that holds, this district will no longer include any part of Chester County)
Shelly grew up on a family farm, watching her parents struggle to make ends meet. She worked 2 jobs to pay for college, graduating from Meredith College with a degree in Political Science, and earned a JD from Drexel University. Shelly served her nation for more than a decade with the Central Intelligence Agency, from secretary to counter-intelligence officer. She served as an undercover officer providing logistical and counter-intelligence support to operatives abroad. Shelly feels a moral obligation to stand up for what is right when her government no longer serves the needs of current and future generations of Americans. As a peer counselor and mental health ambassador in the legal profession, and as the mother of a special-needs child adopted from foster care, she understands the importance of reducing the stigma of mental illness and providing treatment. As a cancer survivor, she appreciates the importance of quality health care for all individuals. She lives in Glen Mills with her husband and three children. www.shellyforcongress.com Facebook
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. https://votedaylin.com/ Facebook
Ashley Lunkenheimer As an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of PA, Ashley spent nearly a decade protecting communities from violent drug gangs, gun violence and financial fraud through successful prosecutions. Then as Senior Counsel at AmeriHealth Caritas, she helped expand Medicaid by working to implement a new program that increases access to quality preventative health care. She has provided pro bono legal work and volunteered her time at a number of non-profit organizations. Ashley grew up in Delaware County. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Amherst College where she was an All-American rugby player. She also has a Master’s of Social Work from Columbia University and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Ashley and her wife, Starla, live in Media, where they are raising their three children, ages eight, seven, and six. Ashley spends many evenings and weekends coaching her children’s basketball, soccer and softball teams. ashleylunkenheimer.com Facebook
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. www.elizabethmoro.com/ Facebook
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, an organization promoting sustainable environmental policy. www.muroff4congress.com
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.
A lifetime resident of Delaware County and graduate of St. Joseph’s Prep, Greg received his B.S. in Economics (cum laude) from Villanova University and his J.D. from Villanova University School of Law. As a solo practitioner in Havertown for 12 years, he learned how laws affect real people and how to run a small business. In 1992, building on his success as a community activist and knocking on nearly every door, Greg became the first Democrat ever elected to the 166th District. He served for 24 years (four as Democratic Chairman) on the House Environmental Resource and Energy Committee He was the first PA legislator to introduce climate change legislation and the first to introduce the idea of a severance tax on natural gas. He has also been a strong advocate for brick and mortar public schools, women’s rights, criminal justice reform, sensible gun control policies, government reform, and equality for all under the law. vitali-forcongress.com Facebook
US HOUSE, DISTRICT 16 (or 11, on the new map; if that holds, this district will no longer include any part of Chester County)
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. www.christinamhartman.com Facebook
on issues see also Lancaster Stands Up
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. www.jesskingforcongress.com Facebook
on issues see also Lancaster Stands Up
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.” www.richardsmithforcongress.com
Gary believes we cannot afford the politics as usual that have led to gridlock and bad ideas in Washington. Mch 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 necessary care. Too much money goes to insurance 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 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. GaryWegmanforCongress.com Facebook
on issues see also Lancaster Stands Up
“My students, getting their first taste (of the subject), were amazed at the audacity, flabbergasted at what this meant about democracy, and more than a little amused at the stupidity of adults,” Kimmel wrote in an essay recently.
“In a little over two weeks of class time,” the teacher wrote, “indeed, the group of eighth graders did do a better job than the Legislature.”
Now, compare that to the reaction of Republicans to our Supreme Court striking down their rigged maps:
— Republican members of Congress, including my opponent Lloyd Smucker, signed a letter saying the decision to draw fair maps was “unfortunate” and “misguided.”
— Smucker then went on TV and said the current rigged district maps are just “the process is essentially working as intended.”
— PA legislator Cris Dush accused Supreme Court members of “misbehavior” and called for their impeachment! (It’s like Tom Brady wanting the referee fired for calling the Super Bowl for the Eagles.)
Our campaign is about more than flipping one district or replacing one congressman. It’s about getting back to the kind of common sense that exists in that 8th-grade classroom — but not in Congress.
It’s about honestly making your case to voters instead of rigging the process in your favor. It’s about being 100% transparent, and meeting constituents face-to-face, even if they disagree with you.
I’m hopeful that the new maps will ensure a level playing field, and not favor either party. In the meantime, we need to prepare for every possibility.
[n.b. at this point in the election cycle we post occasional items by or from candidates that inform our readers about important issues; we will give space to all candidates from whom we receive such information, without intending to imply endorsement or favoritism.]
While appealing to one of their ideological allies on the US Supreme Court and making noises about trying to impeach the majority of PA Supreme Court justices for upholding the state constitution, Harrisburg R’s were designing a new congressional map on their own and came out with it hours before the Court was to take over the assignment.
See the proposed map below, from “GOP Releases Redrawn Maps” by Paul Engelkemier, PoliticsPA, 2/9/18. As you’ll see, it divides Chester County between districts 6 and 7, compared to the current division between 6, 7, and 16. District 6 would include parts of 3 counties (now 4), district 7 also parts of 3 (now 5), and district 16 parts of 2 (now 3):
Does the R map represent enough progress to serve as an interim arrangement until the next redistricting after the 2020 census? Governor Wolf, with expert advice, will either say Yes, or if he says No, the PA Supreme Court will take over. And in 2021, either the then majority in H’burg will try to work to its own advantage, or else the job will go to a citizen commission to ensure that objective, non-political principles are applied. In any case, let’s hope the days of gerrymandering our state are over for ever!
Underlying issue: How compact (the PA Supreme Court’s term) is compact enough? Ideally, a basically rectangular state would be divided in turn into rectangles or squares. Compare Iowa: