This year local races for positions like county commissioners, judges, and school board members are in contention, along with statewide judgeships, including a state Supreme Court justice. With the primary fast approaching on May 16, the county political parties are vetting candidates and making endorsements.
Both the Chester County Democrats and Republicans endorsed candidates on Feb. 15.
With Democratic County Commissioners Marian Moskowitz and Josh Maxwell running for re-election, they garnered their party’s endorsement for spots on the three-seat board. On the Republican side, Commissioner Michelle Kichline is not running again, so Dave Sommers, a teacher, and former state Rep. Eric Roe received the GOP nod.
“I’m honored to have the support and confidence of the Republican Party, and I’ll run a campaign that our Republican voters can be proud of,” said Roe. “I am running on my track record of open space preservation, fiscal restraint, and empowering those in the shadows. That’s what I did as a state legislator, and that’s what I’ll do in the county courthouse.”
Sommers said, “I am humbled to receive the committee’s endorsement to be one of your next county commissioners. The faith committee members have placed in me and our entire slate of candidates representing conservative, common-sense approaches to governing is greatly appreciated. ”
Maxwell said, “I’m excited to be running for reelection in a community I’ve called home my entire life. This is a special county, and I look forward to talking to neighbors throughout the year to try and earn their support.”
And Chairwoman Moscowitz added, “I’m running for re-election because I love this community, and I’m dedicated to building on the progress we’ve made in our first term. As the first Democratic majority in the history of our county, we’ve shown that Democrats can govern and deliver.
“We now have the lowest unemployment rate in the region, we’re restoring access to public transportation, we have begun increasing affordable/attainable housing, and we’ve made historic investments to preserve our open space. There is so much more work to be done, and I’m ready to continue serving the place I’ve called home for nearly 40 years,” she said.
Chester County Democratic Committee Chair Charlotte Valyo stressed the importance of the endorsement process, especially given that she expects cross-filing Republicans on the May 16 Democratic Primary Election ballot for non-political races. She also noted the recent election successes of Democratic candidates across the county, leading to several competitive primary races.
For statewide races, the Democratic committee endorsed Dan McCaffrey for state Supreme Court; Jill Beck and Judge Tamika Lane for Superior Court; and Judge Matt Wolf for Commonwealth Court.
Republican Chair Raffi Terzian said the Pennsylvania GOP endorsed the statewide judicial candidates, so the county committee does not vote on them. These are Judge Carolyn Carluccio for the State Supreme Court, Judge Harry Smail and Maria Battista for Superior Court, and Megan Martin for Commonwealth Court.
For Chester County Common Pleas judgeships, Republicans selected: David Black, Donald Kohler, Judge Lou Mincarelli, PJ Redmond, and Andy Rongaus. The Republicans also endorsed candidates for District Court Magistrate: District Court 15-3-01 Judge John Hipple; District Court 15-3-04 Peter Mylonas; District Court 15-3-05 Judge Scott Massey; District Court 15-3-06 Timothy Arndt; and District Court 15-4-03, Joe Denham.
For Common Pleas judge, the Democrats are backing: Sarah Black, Judge Nicole Forzato, Sheriff Fredda Maddox, Tip McCabe, and Deborah Ryan, the current district attorney.
Voters will also decide who holds the county row offices.
The CCDC endorsed: Prothonotary Debbie Bookman and Register of Wills Michelle Vaughn, along with district attorney candidate Chris de Barrena-Sarobe, recorder of deeds candidate Diane O’Dwyer, and Kevin Dykes for sheriff.
“The Chester County Democratic Committee has successfully endorsed a full slate of candidates to run for Judicial and County seats in the 2023 election,” said Valyo. “The Democratic slate is representative of Chester County, the candidates are highly qualified, and will continue the Democrats’ record of governing responsibly for all Chester County residents.”
The GOP endorsed: Roy Kofroth for sheriff, Michael Taylor for prothonotary, Brian Yanoviak for recorder of deeds, and Shawn Mullen for register of wills.
The RCCC is continuing “to vet candidates for district attorney,” Terzian said.
At the beginning of the meeting, Terzian called for unity.
“We must come together and unite as one Republican Party in Chester County. Unity does not require complete concordance. Instead, it requires recognizing and embracing the goodwill of everyone.”
He noted that the upcoming election would be important for the quality of life in Chester County.
“The New Republican Party of Chester County is moving forward with renewed energy, fresh ideas, and an optimistic vision for the future. We aim for highly-qualified candidates who offer a solutions-oriented and common-sense approach to the challenges we face in our county,” he said.