2020 US and PA Candidates
US President and Vice President
Joe Biden was born in Scranton PA; when he was 10, his family moved to Delaware. He was a football star at Archmere Academy, from which he graduated in 1961. At the University of Delaware, he majored in history and political science, graduating in 1965, then receiving his law degree from Syracuse in 1968. While practicing law, he was elected to the New Castle County Council and then scored a surprising upset to win the 1972 US Senate race. The tragedies in his life include the death of his wife and small daughter shortly after his election. Five years later, he married Jill Jacobs, a teacher from Pennsylvania, whose academic degrees include a Masters from West Chester University; they have now been married 43 years and have one daughter. Biden represented Delaware in the US Senate for 36 years, serving in many notable capacities, including as chair of both the Senate Judiciary and Foreign Relations Committees. He became Barack Obama’s running mate in 2008 and served as a highly trusted and influential vice president for 8 years. At a time when national leadership is sorely needed, he has compiled an unrivaled background in issues, policies, and the workings of government.
Kamala Harris grew up fighting to help fulfill America’s promise for all Americans. Her father immigrated to the U.S.from Jamaica to study economics; her mother immigrated from India. Kamala graduated from Howard University , then earned a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law. She started fighting for working families in the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, where she focused on prosecuting child sexual assault cases, and then as San Francisco’s District Attorney. As California Attorney General, she oversaw the country’s second largest state Justice Department, with 4,800 attorneys and other employees, and managed a $735 million budget. She won a $20 billion settlement against big banks that were unfairly foreclosing on homes, worked to protect Obamacare, helped win marriage equality for all, defended California’s landmark climate change law, and won a $1.1 billion settlement against a for-profit education company that scammed students and veterans. Since being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016, Kamala has introduced and co-sponsored legislation to help the middle class, increase the minimum wage to $15, reform cash bail, and defend the legal rights of refugees and immigrants. She serves on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. On the Judiciary Committee, she has held Trump administration officials accountable and has been a powerful voice against Trump’s conservative judicial nominations. Kamala has been married to her husband Doug for the past six years and is the stepmother of two children, Ella and Cole, her “endless source of love and pure joy.”
Representative in Congress, PA-06
Congressional District PA-06 consists of all of Chester County and the southern part of Berks County as far as Reading. See map here.
Chrissy earned her engineering degree from Stanford with a ROTC scholarship and received her M.S. in Technology and Policy from MIT. She served three years active duty as a Captain in the US Air Force, and 13 years in the Reserves. Then she became Chief Operating office of the sportswear company AND1. She was founding COO of B-Lab (a nonprofit that promotes B Corporations and good business practices) and President and COO/CFO for Springboard Collaborative (a Philadelphia-based nonprofit focused on improving early childhood literacy in underserved communities). She was first elected to the PA-06 seat in November 2018 by a margin of 18%. In the House of Representatives, she serves on the Committees on Armed Forces, Foreign Affairs, and Small Business.
The Pennsylvania Senate is the upper chamber of the General Assembly. One district is entirely in Chester County and 3 are shared between Chester County and one adjacent county. See the map here. Senators are elected for 4 years; this year, the odd-numbered seats are on the ballot
John Kane grew up in Delaware County. John has spent his life fighting on behalf of working families and Democratic Party values. He grew up in a working class family and later became a plumber. At the age of 22, John sought treatment for his alcoholism. 36 years sober later, John wears his sobriety as a badge of honor. It reminds him what many across our region are still dealing with. John has experienced many of the problems facing our district. As a cancer survivor, he knows the importance of affordable healthcare for all. As a father, John understands the need to properly fund public education and vocational programs. He knows we need someone to fight for women’s reproductive justice and demand pay equity. John will end the inaction on climate change, starting by holding Sunoco and its Mariner pipeline to the highest safety standards. John was elected business manager of Plumbers Local 690 in 2007. John lives in Birmingham, Chester County, with his wife, Lori.
A West Chester University graduate, Carolyn earned her Master of Science in Education at Widener University. She continues to mentor students and has organized the attendance of over 2,500 local students at the annual Health and Environment Conference at the United Nations. A former teacher, member of West Chester Borough Council from 2006–10 and Mayor of West Chester from 2010-17, she is also Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Thomas Comitta Associates. First elected to the 156th district of the PA House of Representatives in 2016, she serves on the Committees on Aging & Older Adult Services, Environmental Resources & Energy, Local Government, Professional Licensure, and Urban Affairs, as well as on the Climate, PA SAFE and Women’s Health Caucuses and on the PA Joint Legislative Air & Water Pollution Control & Conservation Committee and the Pennsylvania Commission for Women.
The Pennsylvania House is the lower of the two chambers of Pennsylvania’s legislative branch, the General Assembly. Its 203 members make it the largest full-time legislative chamber in the US. Chester County includes the entirety of districts 74, 155, 156, 158, and 167, and shares districts 13, 26, 157, and 160 with adjoining counties. All PA House districts are on the ballot every even year. See the maps of PA House districts here.
As Senior Pastor of New Life in Christ Fellowship Church in Coatesville for 27 years, Dan has envisioned, led, and sponsored missionary trips domestically and abroad. NLICF has sponsored, collected, and delivered over 500 care packages to our armed service members in Afghanistan. Dan has led initiatives for fire victims and the beautification of Ash Park in Coatesville; he has launched many drives bringing food and clothes to thousands of families. As a former UPS supervisor and Teamster member, Dan knows first-hand the importance of unions to ensuring the working class earns a family sustaining wage, has access to affordable healthcare, and is afforded proper protections on the job. To aid in the fight against gun violence, he facilitated a “Guns for Amnesty Program.” Dan graduated from Geneva College and Biblical Seminary in Hatfield PA (B.S., Mdiv and DMin); he and his wife Baleria Alston Williams have three children and 1 grandson. Dan was first elected to this seat in 2018; he is a member of the PA House Committees on Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness, Children & Youth, and Urban Affairs, as well as of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus.
Danielle, a mother of two, ran and won in 2018 because “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.” Born and raised in Philadelphia, she has called Chester County home for two decades after attending West Chester University. She spent most of her professional career in marketing and hospitality, serving on the executive teams of some of Philadelphia’s most notable hospitality brands. When rumors swirled that the Mariner East pipeline construction would overtake her neighbor’s yard, Danielle coordinated with neighbors to demand safety, transparency and accountability from government and state agencies that oversee these projects. She was integral in founding Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety, a collective of eight coalitions in Delaware and Chester counties fighting for public safety. She is focused on providing for strong public schools, more affordable and accessible health care, public safety, conservation and environmental justice, workforce development, and family-sustaining jobs. She lives in Exton with her husband and two children. She is a member of the PA House Committees on Aging & Older Adult Services, Children & Youth, Environmental Resources & Energy, and Tourism & Recreational Development, as well as the Climate and PA SAFE Caucuses. Danielle believes in the philosophy of servant leadership and our responsibility to be stewards of our Earth.
Dianne became West Chester’s Mayor on January 2, 2018, after winning 73% of the vote in the 2017 general election. Previously, she effectively advocated for quality of life issues as Chair or member of the Borough’s Comprehensive Plan Task Force, Sustainability Advisory Committee, BLUER, and Shade Tree Commission. In 2007 she led a successful effort to keep building heights in the downtown reasonable and help preserve West Chester’s historic brand. In 2015, she led the successful effort to pass the Environmental Community Bill of Rights ballot measure, which modified the Borough’s Home Rule Charter to enumerate the right to a life- sustaining, clean environment and set the foundation for West Chester’s current commitment to renewable electricity and energy. Dianne works to ensure effective communications with residents and business owners, and to unite a diverse community behind shared aspirations through creative problem-solving. Dianne and her husband have raised two sons in the Borough. She is Vice President of Practical Energy Solutions, a Borough-based energy efficiency and renewable energy consulting firm.
Melissa graduated from Lafayette College in 1989 with a degree in Russian Studies (History) and a minor in Chinese Literature. She worked for large networks like FX and Food Network before returning to Pennsylvania to raise her son as a single mother and starting her own video production company, a successful business that gives her a unique perspective. She was prompted to campaign in 2018 by special interests that block progress on important issues in Harrisburg. She knocked on tens of thousands of doors while campaigning on government transparency and accountability, education equity, environmental sustainability, and gun control reform. She went on to defeat a four-term Republican by over 4,000 votes, in a historic year when women increased their representation in the Pennsylvania legislature. Melissa serves on the Judiciary, Aging & Older Adult Services, and Tourism & Recreational Development Committees, and has authored legislation dealing with small business loans, gun control, reduction of single-use plastics, and animal protections. She was selected as the Secretary of the Judiciary Committee and co-chair of the Autism and Intellectual Disabilities Caucus, and is the first freshmen legislator to serve as a Deputy Whip.
Chris has lived in Chester County for 25 years; she and her husband have raised three kids here. Chris managed businesses in the fashion industry and then, as a stay-at-home parent, became active in open space, natural resource protection and infrastructure issues in her community. Upon returning to the workforce, Chris used her knowledge and experience to serve the people of Chester County as Chief of Staff to former State Representative Barbara McIlvaine Smith, Director of Legislative Initiatives to State Senator Andy Dinniman, and Chief of Staff to State Representative Carolyn Comitta. Chris is committed to protecting our quality of life and working to create opportunity for all. She wants to ensure that our economy and business environment are a foundation for growth; that our state lives within its means and is able to lend a hand to our neighbors in need. She believes we should listen to one another, respect alternative positions, and discuss solutions to hard problems in a civil manner. First elected by the people of the 158th in 2018, she serves on the PA House Committees on Agriculture & Rural Affairs, Local Government, and Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness as well as the Autism and Intellectual Disabilities, Blue-Green, Climate Caucus, Ladies of the House, Mental Health, PA SAFE, and Women’s Health Caucuses.
Kristine is a forward thinker from Malvern who is in tune with the needs of her neighbors. As a devoted single mother of seven, three still attending public schools, she focuses on the principle of putting children first and working constantly to ensure their safety. She used her degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers Law School to run a small legal and social services organization in New Mexico, before returning to Pennsylvania and joining Philadelphia Lawyers for the Arts as an advocate for youth in foster care. She eventually joined the Chester County Department of Children, Youth and Family services to investigate child abuse. Kristine understands quality schools are critical in laying the groundwork for a successful future. This fuels her fight to improve state programs and funding to offer quality education, healthcare, and career opportunities for all, including two-income families and single mothers, whose life challenges she shares. She is dedicated to creating solutions to the problems faced by all Chester County families. Kristine was first elected to this seat in November 2018. She serves on the PA House Committees on Children & Youth, Finance, and Human Services, and is a member of the Climate, PA SAFE (gun violence) and Women’s Health Caucuses. She has be named an Environmental Champion by Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania.
The elected statewide officers carry out essential leadership roles of the administration in Harrisburg. Attorney General Shapiro and Treasurer Torsella, below, are running for reelection, while Auditor General Eugene DePasquale is not. On 2/1/20, the State Dem Committee endorsed the 2 incumbents and made no endorsement for Auditor General.
Josh Shapiro was sworn in on January 17, 2017, as as Pennsylvania’s top lawyer and chief law enforcement officer with a mandate to ensure integrity and be the people’s Attorney General. Some of his top priorities include protecting seniors, veterans, small businesses and consumers from scams and fraud; implementing a comprehensive integrity agenda to ensure people from across the Commonwealth are heard and have faith in the justice system; and directing an aggressive fight against the heroin and opioid epidemic, including treatment for those suffering from addiction. As the Chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, his work on behalf of victims and for criminal justice reform earned him the trust of law enforcement leaders from across the ideological spectrum. Earlier, as Chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners Josh led an historic fiscal turnaround, helped the first LGBT couples in Pennsylvania marry, protected voting rights and fired Wall Street money managers to protect pensions and save retirees millions. As State Representative for Pennsylvania’s 153rd House District he passed some of the toughest ethics laws in state history. Josh graduated magna cum laude from the University of Rochester and earned his law degree at night from Georgetown University Law Center, and was in private practice for over a decade. Josh was raised in Montgomery County, where he met his high school sweetheart, Lori, and where they are raising their four children.
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Chester County Democratic Committee
37 South High St., West Chester, PA 19382
(610) 692-5811 • [email protected]
© 2019 Chester County Democratic Committee