Tag Archives: 2017 election

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

Statewide results

All statewide Dem judge candidates won in Chester County, even though, sad to say, they did not all win statewide:

Supreme Court: Dwayne Woodruff did not win but Debra Todd was retained
Superior Court: Maria McLaughlin, Carolyn Nichols, and Debbie Kunselman won but not Geoff Moulton
Commonwealth Court, Ellen Ceisler and Irene M. Clark won

The ballot question to allow local taxing authorities to exempt homes from taxation lost in Chester County but won statewide.

The PA Supreme Court, whose make-up remains 5 Dems and 2 R’s, will play an important role in the state redistricting after the 2020 census, unless the current partisan system, resulting in extreme gerrymandering in the US House of Representatives, is abolished by then.

Dems win big in Chester County

Congratulations to the candidates and to all of you who worked so hard to bring home this huge win in Chester County. This was a win for us, the Democratic team, who went out, worked hard, and got ever so many to vote for our great candidates.

The winners include all the county row officers (Maisano – Treasurer, Reif – Controller, VandePol – Coroner and Van der Krol – Clerk of Courts). Also all eight statewide judicial candidates were victorious in Chester County. The ballot question failed in Chester County.

Of the three Magistrate District Judge candidates in Chester County, two Democrats were elected (Iacocca and Binder).

At the local level, there were large numbers of Democrats elected as supervisors, mayors, and school board members. These will result in major changes in Chester County governance.

The county vote totals illustrate what we accomplished to get this win. In 2015, the four Democratic row office candidates each got about 37,000 votes vs about 49,000 for the R’s. In 2017, the Dem row office candidates each got about 57,000 votes vs about 49,000 for the R’s. In summary, the R vote total was about the same while the D vote total increased by 20,000 votes, an average of almost 90 votes per precinct.

Now that we have helped our candidates to victory, we must take two important steps. First, we need our candidates who will soon be elected officials, to make a positive difference, after all that is why we elected them. Secondly, we need to build on this win and and do it again to bring our 2018 candidates to victory.

Finally — Congratulations and thank you for working to make the difference that resulted in this memorable victory.

David Rhoads, Secretary
Chester County Democratic Committee