Katie Ford, a U.S. Army veteran and special instructor for early intervention working with children and their families ages birth to three, received the Republican nomination in the upcoming special election to fill the vacant seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives 163rd District.

Her priorities include adequate funding for education and for police and police training.

The special election to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Rep. Mike Zabel, a Democrat, following sexual harassment allegations coincides with the May 16 Primary Election. All registered voters, including independents, are eligible to vote.

Ford, a lifelong Upper Darby resident, was trained as a combat medic and served in the Army for eight years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State University, a Master of Education from Arizona State University, and a Foundations of Infant Mental Health Certificate from the University of Pittsburgh.

She currently works as a special needs instructor focusing on providing direct support to children — from birth to three years old — and their families in early intervention. Ford served as the communications coordinator for the last two summers for the Upper Darby Arts and Education Foundation’s Butterfly Buddy Camp, which helps special needs children build social interaction and life skills through music.

Ford also has a long record of volunteerism in the local community. For the past three years, she has been a volunteer coach and team mom for Upper Darby High School’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams and the cross country teams. She also served as cross country and track boosters president since 2018 and chaired the After Prom Committee.

Additionally, she was active at Drexel Hill Middle School, volunteering as a backstage manager and set designer for six years, as home and school board treasurer for five years, and as the Band and Orchestra Parent Board treasurer for five years. At Garrettford Elementary School, Ford founded the running club for more than 100 students and raised money to benefit the Upper Darby Arts and Education Foundation.

“Given my background and experience, one of my top priorities in the Pennsylvania House will be to fight for the increased funding needed to properly educate our children, including those with special needs,” said Ford. “As the spouse of a police officer, public safety, adequate funding, and training for law enforcement will also be a top priority.”

“Given the numerous scandals in our local community related to our elected officials – ranging from a mayor who has mismanaged taxpayer dollars and was arrested to a state representative who resigned following accusations of sexual harassment – I will work to restore integrity in our state and local government,” said Ford, referring to the recent arrest of Upper Darby’s mayor for driving under the influence and the sexual harassment allegations against Zabel.

“We have too many elected officials who are nominated and elected to office because of backroom deals and who they know in political party leadership. We need people who will focus on doing what’s right by the community, not on paying back their political friends and donors with jobs and contracts,” Ford said.

Frank Agovino, chair of the Delaware County Republican Committee, said, “The Delco GOP is proud to endorse Katie Ford for state representative in the 163rd legislative district. As a mom, special needs educator, community volunteer, and former army medic, Katie knows the impact of service. Katie stepped up because she cares about her community and wants to bring integrity and common sense back to Upper Darby Township. Her connection to the schools and community organizations shows how hard she is willing to work to make a difference. Katie’s energy level is unmatched, and everyone that meets her will feel strongly that she is the only choice on May 16.”

The 163rd District includes a section of Upper Darby, Collingdale, Clifton Heights, Aldan, and part of Darby Township.


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