Corbett taps Aichele for State post

Potential departure of county commissioner could be leg up for GOP candidate in 2011

By Mike McGann, Editor,

Chester County Commissioner Carol Aichele has been tapped to join the administration of incoming Gov. Tom Corbett.

Chester County could be getting a new county commissioner sooner rather than later — as incoming Gov. Tom Corbett has picked current commissioner Carol Aichele to serve as his Secretary of the  Commonwealth, which oversees the Department of State, elections and various professional license boards. Aichele had been quiet about her plans to run again for commissioner again, although she was widely expected to join Corbett’s incoming team.

Aichele, of Tredyffrin, was chair of the board of Commissioners until recently being replaced by Terrance Ferrell at the board’s 2011 reorganization meeting — no surprise as Farrell had launched a very public reelection campaign, while insiders were unsure of Aichele’s plans, although she was generally expected to be offered a post in the Corbett Administration. Aichele previously ran for Lt. Governor and state senate, unsuccessfully.

With incumbents Farrell, a Republican, and Kathi Cozzone, a Democrat, expected to seek reelection in 2011, the scramble will be on to replace Aichele, once she is confirmed — considered likely, sources say — the Chester County

Recorder of Deeds Ryan Costello: next County Commissioner?

Republican Committee will nominate a replacement, but the final decision will rest in the hands of the Chester County Court of Common Pleas. The last time there was an opening, when Andy Dinniman was elected to the state senate in 2007, the judges disregarded the nomination of the Chester County Democratic Committee and appointed Pat O’Donnell, a former commissioner. The judges did require candidates to pledge that they would not seek election in 2007 — a race ultimately won by Cozzone.

Right now, the only declared candidates for the GOP nod beyond Farrell are current county Recorder of Deeds Ryan Costello and Jim Jordan, a member of the Thornbury Planning Commission. Getting that appointment and becoming an incumbent, would, in theory be a big leg up in the fall election — unless the judges make the same no-campaign requirement.

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