Dinniman announces retirement

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

State Sen. Andy Dinniman

Chester County Democratic powerhouse State Sen. Andy Dinniman announced Friday night that he would not seek reelection for a fourth term — just weeks after launching his reelection.

Dinniman, a former County Commissioner and Democratic Party Chair, announced Friday that family concerns meant it was time to end a three-decade career in politics, during most of which he was the county’s best-known and most prominent Democrat.

“For nearly 30 years, as your Chester County Commissioner and State Senator, I have had the privilege of building a close relationship with the people of Chester County,” Dinniman said in a statement. “Now, I have a responsibility to explain why I will not be seeking reelection.”

Both Dinniman and his wife Margo — also a force behind the scenes in Democratic politics — have battled health issues in recent years, the most recent of which prompted a decision to withdraw.

“This was a very tough decision, especially knowing just how many of you have faithfully and tirelessly supported my work over the years,” Dinniman said. “However, as I sit at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center with my wife, Margo, who is now recovering from surgery, we both came to the sudden realization this was not the time to run again.”

Dinniman thanked his wife for her constant support — noting some of the challenges they have faced in recent years.

“Anyone who seeks public office understands that it’s a family decision. Despite enduring a series of health challenges in recent years, Margo has always supported me,” he said. “Over 51 years of marriage, she always said ‘yes’ when I wanted to run. Even after a three-month stay at the hospital and Bryn Mawr Rehabilitation, she remained my biggest cheerleader, my most astute advisor, my rock. I remember times during her long hospitalization that I would go to Harrisburg, come home to walk and feed the dog, and then head back to the hospital to spend the night at her bedside. Margo and I have faced some long days and tough battles together, but that is what a real, loving relationship is about — and it only gets better with time.”

And until very recently, they planned to continue in politics.

“Even after all of this, Margo again, out of steadfast love and devotion, agreed to support my plans to run in this year’s election,” Dinniman said. “But now it is my turn to be there for her and lovingly support her as we focus on her recovery from a procedure that will allow her to again walk freely and live without constant pain for the first time in years.”

Although this marks the end of one phase of his life, Dinniman said he was left with no regrets and much in the way of gratitude.

“Again, as I write this, sitting beside my wife and family, I cannot help but be overwhelmed by feelings of both gratitude and hope. I cannot help but reflect on my own career and marriage and the idea that ‘love is love.’ I have been blessed to not only serve as your representative, but even more so, to share my life and all it’s ups and downs with a strong, supportive, and committed partner who I love. It just doesn’t get any better than that.”

Dinniman said he would remain in his senate for the rest of his term and offered appreciation for the support for him and his wife.

“In closing, please know that I will continue to work hard for you until the very last day of my term,” he said. “And Margo thanks all of you for the cards and well wishes.”

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