Turnout light, but passions high for local voters

By P.J. D’Annunzio, Staff Writer, KennettTimes.com

Campaign signs sit outside the polling place at Mary D. Lang Elementary School, Tuesday.

KENNETT SQUARE — Tuesday marked the primaries for many local and municipal elections. Few voters trickled into polling locations from the soggy weather that has descended upon the area; however, those that did manage to vote were clearly decisive on their party affiliations and choices for representation.

“After 150 years of Republican rule it’s time for a change,” said Joan Fromm a resident of the Kendal-Crosslands retirement community. Mrs. Fromm has lived in Kennett Square since her relocation from Drexel Hill, PA in 2008 and up until that time has been a registered Republican. “I switched to the Democratic party during the Obama race,” she said, “at that point in time I had just become totally dissatisfied with how the Republicans were running things.”

“I want to see people vote for issues rather than parties. You often get representatives like Joe Pitts who will vote entirely within his own party just for the sake of keeping in line with their own doctrine,” she commented, “I think, especially in this county, that if a Republican idea is presented it is considered good and if a democratic idea is posed it’s considered of lesser value or ignored outright. That’s not right.” Mrs. Fromm also went on to describe that she was voting Democrat in order to provide opposition to Governor Tom Corbett’s “shortsighted” state budget cuts.

Representatives of both parties were present at polling locations. Carolyn Willey, a volunteer for the Chester County GOP, manned a table and distributed brochures in order to encourage support for the Republican Party. Mrs. Willey has been a registered Republican since she was legally able to register to vote.

“We want to keep Chester County as the top county. It’s considered one of the best places in the region to raise a family,” she said. “We also want to keep Alan Falcoff as supervisor because he has been able to keep this township fiscally sound. We have the lowest millage rates in the county.”

Scudder Stevens, the Democratic hopeful for the Kennett Township supervisor position and Allan Falcoff’s opposition, disagrees with sentiments that the township is run soundly under the current leadership. “My goal is to bring to light the governance of Kennett Township,” he said describing his motivation for running.

Stevens described himself as being politically active at for all of his adult life, becoming increasingly involved in the midst of the unrest created by the Vietnam War. “At that time I drifted away from the traditional Republican affiliations that my family held and aligned with the Democrats. I felt that I was being more true to myself and my own views that way.”

“I want people to know that if I’m elected their local government will listen to them. I won’t laugh at them or throw them out of meetings,” he explained, “people have been thrown out of meetings because the supervisors didn’t like the questions being asked. I intend to represent the people by letting them speak their minds. I will insist that their voices be heard.”

Outside of the polling location in Mary D. Lang Elementary School, Bill Carozzo Jr., son of Republican borough council candidate William Corazzo, offered his comments on what he considered to be the most pressing issues facing the area currently. We have a lot of plans for housing in this area, and it’s important that we see them through for the development of the community,” he said, “also we have to better manage the amount of truck traffic coming through the town itself.” Among the other issues he described as being noteworthy were the implementation of senior housing and the construction of new parking garages.

At the Kendal polling station lifelong Democrat Bill Jones described his experiences with voting. “The very first election I voted in was in 1948, down in Memphis where I’m originally from. I voted against the Republican at that time who was Boss Krump.” Mr. Jones went on to illustrate that he wishes to see more communication among the members of both parties, no matter the outcome of the most recent elections. “We need to begin to talk to each other not just as Republicans and Democrats, but as Americans. We have to deal with the big issues facing America today: the poor, the deficit, and the reality of the cost of fighting two wars.” When for his thoughts on the outcome of the election, and the future of America, Mr. Jones had only this to say: “We shall overcome, that’s our song.”

In terms of results, there were few surprises — at least in the unofficial results released by Chester County Voter Services.

In the Kennett Consolidated School District, in Region A, Aline Frank won both the Republican and Democratic nomination, while Dominic Perigo won the GOP nod; in Region B, Shirley Annand and Rudy Alfonzo won both nods and in Region C, Michael Finnegan won both nominations.

In Kennett Township, current Board of Supervisors chair Allan Falcoff won renomination by the Republicans garnering 278 votes, while Scudder Stevens won the Democratic nomination with 315 votes — the two will square off in November for the seat.

In Kennett Square, former mayor Leon Spencer easily won his bid to win the GOP nomination for Borough Council, getting 102 votes. With three seats up in November, David Miller was second with 74 and John Thomas edged out William Carozzo 58-56 for the last Republican slot. Democrats Derrick Flax, 63 votes, and Joseph Mulry, 81 votes, won November ballot slots on the Democratic side, and the third spot seems likely to have come from some 136 write-in votes cast. Those results should be available later this week.

In New Garden, Stephen Allaband won the Republican nomination to replace retiring supervisor Barclay Hoopes. While there was no Democrat on the primary ballot, there were 95 write-in votes cast, so it’s likely there will be someone on that line in November as well.

P.J. D’Annunzio is a reporter for our sister site, The Kennett Times, which launches formally on June 1.

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