History Is in The Making (Again) As Record Number of Democratic Candidates Run for County Row and Judicial Seats
West Chester, PA (09:02:32) – Chester County Democrats are on the verge of a third consecutive year of historic wins as they gathered at Stetson Middle School Tuesday night to endorse countywide judicial and row offices.
Among the 23 candidates presented to the Committee, only two — Deb Ryan for District Attorney and Chris Pielli for Recorder of Deeds — ran unopposed. All came with impeccable resumes from years of serving in government, business, law and on the bench, showing the strong support from a united Chester County Democratic Committee (CCDC).
Deb Ryan for District Attorney and Chris Pielli for Recorder of Deeds each earned a voice vote of unanimous consent from the 362 eligible voters in attendance.
An “abundance of riches” was how many CCDC members described the Endorsement Convention as almost two dozen candidates took to the podium, five for the Court of Common Pleas’ two slots and four for the Chester County Sheriff position.
Endorsed candidates** generating 65% or more of ballots cast were:
District Attorney: Deb Ryan
Recorder of Deeds: Chris Pielli
Pennsylvania Superior Court (vote for two): Amanda Green-Hawkins, Dan McCaffery
Court of Common Pleas (vote for two): Analisa Sondergaard, Bret Binder
Sheriff: Fredda Maddox
County Commissioner (vote for two): Josh Maxwell (there was no 2nd endorsement; Kathi Cozzone, Marian Moskowitz and Ginny Kerslake will also be on the primary ballot)
Prothonotary: no endorsement; Debbie Bookman and Joe Heffern to run in the primary
Register of Wills: no endorsement; Lisa Longo and Michele Vaughn to run in the primary
The four-person race for Sheriff went two rounds since no candidate reached the 65% threshold on the first ballot. With two candidates remaining on the second ballot, Fredda Maddox surpassed Joe Lunsford with 75% of the votes cast.
The race for County Commissioner went three rounds. Conventioneers could vote for two of the four candidates, of whom none passed the 65% threshold on the first round. With all four candidates running again in the second round, Josh Maxwell was endorsed with 66% of the vote. The two next-highest vote-getters, Marian Moskowitz and Kathi Cozzone, ran on a third ballot but there was no second endorsement.
The standing-room only crowd drew hundreds of Committeepersons and Zone Leaders from 20 regional zones. Many of the speakers noted the high turnout on this night was reflective of the high energy in the Democratic party across the whole County.
“The ripple effect for change from one-party rule,” noted CCDC Chairman Dick Bingham, “began in 2017 when we elected four County Row Officers. Last year Chester County voters chose to go ‘blue’ — electing six Democrats of the nine PA state Representative seats and sending the first Democrat to Congress from the 6th District.”
“That enthusiasm has spread to a record number of Democrats filing petitions for their local School Board and to run as Township Supervisors. History is poised to be made again this fall as more women, minorities and first time candidates step up to serve their communities.”
The change in political parties has already made a tremendous impact in Chester County from West Chester and Harrisburg to Washington, DC. Just last week Yolanda Van de Krol, Chester County Clerk of Courts, announced that her office is now accepting documents by electronic filing, or e-filing. The e-filing process allows lawyers to submit documents electronically, alleviating the need to visit the Clerk of Courts Office in West Chester. Once filed, lawyers can then view the documents on a case electronically, eliminating the need to again visit the Clerk of Courts Office to view paper files.
With the addition of Democratic leadership in Chester County, change is finally coming to County and state government after decades of one-party rule. It should be noted it took more than a century for Democratic leadership to finally represent the 6th Congressional District.
Tuesday, May 21, is the Municipal Primary. The last day for residents to register to vote for the primary is April 22. Absentee ballots are available from Chester County Voter Services and must be returned by May 17. The General Election is Tuesday, November 5.
ABOUT CHESTER COUNTY DEMOCRATS
The Chester County Democratic Committee believes in Freedom, Fairness and Opportunity for all Americans regardless of what they believe, who they are, or where they came from. Find CCDC online at chescodems.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Bill Phifer, Communications Chair
Chester County Democratic Committee
** n.b. for all candidates expected to be on the primary election ballot, see here. Photo of ballots being counted thanks to Jim Salvas. Photo of attendees waiting to sign in thanks to Garen Meguerian.