Democrats endorse Sondergaard, Binder, Maxwell & Maddox

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WEST CHESTER — Chester County Democrats are on the verge of a third consecutive tear 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 leaving Kathi Cozzone, Marian Moskowitz and Ginny Kerslake to also run in the primary

Prothonotary: no endorsement 

Debbie Bookman and Joe Heffern to run in primary

Register of Wills: no endorsement 

Lisa Longo and Michele Vaughn to run in primary

The four-person race for Sheriff went two rounds with no candidate grabbing the 65% threshold on the first ballot. One the second ballot, Fredda Maddox surpassed Joe Lunsford with 75% of the votes cast for the two remaining Sheriff candidates.

Likewise, the race for County Commissioner went three rounds. Democrats could vote for two of the four runners. No one passed the 65% threshold on the first round. With all four candidates running again, Josh Maxwell captured 66% of the vote. The two next-highest vote getters, Marian Moskowitz and Kathi Cozzone, ran for a third ballot. Neither candidate earned an endorsement.

The standing-room only crowd drew hundreds of Committee Persons 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 SupervisorsHistory 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 del 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 6thCongressional 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.

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