Chester County Democrats and Republicans have endorsed candidates in the May 17 primary.
Last week, the Republicans gave their nod to congressional candidates Ron Vogel and Guy Ciarrocchi. Vogel had a significant lead over Ciarrocchi in the ultimate round of votes—190 to 137. But because Vogel received 58 percent rather than 60 percent, the party recommended both men.
“It’s an honor to have earned the most votes in Chester County,” says Vogel, a real estate agent. “I intend to win the endorsement from the Berks County GOP, and I look forward to winning this primary and taking on Chrissy Houlahan in the fall. I think the members of the Republican Committee saw that I am genuine in my desire to make this great country even better. I’m admittedly new to politics, but that seems to have been an asset – not a liability. The Republican Party is forward-thinking, and its members trusted me to build coalitions with the next generation of voters, grow the party, and expose Congresswoman Houlahan’s feckless liberalism. That’s why I came out on top as the highest vote earner with 58 percent of the vote.”
The Republican Committee of Berks County, which also covers a significant portion of the 6th Congressional District, will make its endorsements later in April.
“For two years, I have been leading an effort to reopen the economy, to help small businesses and their employees, to put parents in charge and get kids back in school and to restore our liberty,” said Ciarrocchi, who is on leave from his position as president and CEO of the Chester County Chamber of Business. “(Last week) I launched a campaign for Congress to make sure that Washington hears that message—and stops making things worse. It’s humbling that the Chester County GOP officially ‘recommended’ me to our voters. It’s based on the fact that they know my record as a leader, a fighter, and someone who makes a difference. I’ll do my best to earn their trust in me.”
Meanwhile, the Democrats unanimously endorsed incumbent Houlahan. In her remarks, Houlahan mentioned some of her recent legislative successes that included passage of family leave for federal employees, simplifying forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program loans for qualifying small businesses, supporting the bipartisan infrastructure bill that will result in $18 billion in projects for Pennsylvania, and expanding support for veterans.
Her re-election pitch included “ensuring rights to affordable healthcare, an economy that works for all, and energy policies to combat climate change.” She noted her race is ‘targeted’ and the new district map will make the race harder to win. She closed by thanking the Chester County Democrats for their past support.
The Chester Democrats also endorsed Attorney General Josh Shapiro for governor and state Rep. Austin Davis for lieutenant governor.
However, the Democrats’ vote was too close for party members to endorse in the race for the U.S. Senate seat. None of the three nominated candidates- Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, and U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb– reached the 65 percent threshold for endorsement.
On the Republican side, the state committee did not endorse anyone for governor and Senate.
However, Chester County members of the state committee met on Saturday and endorsed former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain for governor, according to Felice Fain, vice chair of the Chester GOP.
“I’m a native son of Chester County. I’ve lived there my whole life. I met my wife, Stephanie, when we were in elementary school in our hometown of West Chester, where we raised our four children and still live today,” said McSwain. “I coached little league and soccer teams in Chester County. I know the families of Chester County and they know me.
“Chester County is ready for change, and ready for a conservative leader who will fight to protect them from government overreach, intrusive regulations, and burdensome tax increases. I am proud to see my home county coming together to demand better for themselves, their neighbors, and their children, and am honored to receive the endorsement of the Chester County delegation of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania. Together, we will work towards victory in November and a freer, safer, more prosperous Commonwealth for years to come,” he said.