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: