inside sources print logo
Get up to date Delaware Valley news in your inbox

Dr. Raffi Terzian Reelected Chair of the Republican Committee of Chester County

(From a press release.)

The Republican Committee of Chester County (RCCC) convened on Tuesday for its biennial reorganization meeting, where the election of officers took place. Raffi Terzian, M.D., the current RCCC Chairman, ran unopposed and was reelected, continuing his leadership along with a strong and committed slate of officers.

The newly elected officers are as follows:

· Executive Vice-Chair: Ted Murphy

· Vice-Chair: Paula Tropiano

· Treasurer: Barbara Spall

· Financial Secretary: Beverly Pancott

· Secretary: Lin-Marie Salvato

· Assistant Secretary: Jonathan McGrath

Dr. Terzian expressed his gratitude and said he was honored to continue serving with such a highly qualified team. He thanked the committee for placing confidence in him and his team to continue leading the RCCC and Chester County Republican Party forward.

Dr. Terzian also emphasized the significance of unity within the party.

“We must stand together, united in our focus and purpose as Republicans, to ensure the success of our entire slate of candidates this fall.”

This reorganization marks a significant step in the ongoing rebuilding efforts of the RCCC. Under Dr. Terzian’s leadership, the committee has been focused on revitalizing its structure, enhancing community engagement, and strengthening grassroots efforts. The team is committed to sustaining this progress, working tirelessly to rebuild and enhance the RCCC’s impact throughout Chester County.

Judge Rules Against the Chester County GOP in Election Lawsuit

Late Monday afternoon Common Pleas Judge Anthony Verwey ruled against the Chester County Republican Committee, which had asked for an injunction to prevent ballots harvested from a nursing home to be counted in Tuesday’s primary.

The judge also denied the party’s request to reverse a county Board of Elections ruling that GOP committee members cannot act as poll watchers in their own precincts. The Republicans also objected to the reapportionment of wards in Phoenixville. They are concerned that the Board of Elections gave them insufficient notice of these ward changes in the borough for committee members to gather signatures.

They further argued that the long-term care facility was not a single household, as election law requires, so one person could not legally gather ballots from many residents there.

“The injunction proposed in this matter would disenfranchise and, therefore, harm voters who are unable to submit their ballots on their own and have already provided their mail-in ballot to a single designated agent,” the judge wrote.

Chester County GOP Chair Dr. Raffi Terzian said, “We are disappointed, and quite frankly surprised, with the outcome of the ruling today. During this election cycle, with all eyes on Pennsylvania, it should be of paramount interest to all voters that there be fairness in the electoral process, and this is precisely what we asked for today.

“Our goals are to promote transparency and accountability, to help restore confidence in the integrity of the election process and to make sure that citizens are provided with appropriate notice of actions taken by county government. Unfortunately, it appears that there remains a double standard which is tilted against Republicans,” Terzian said.

Rebecca Brain, a spokeswoman for Chester County, said, “Chester County and its leadership and staff in Voter Services are dedicated to running safe and secure elections, and the County remains committed to open communication and transparency, not just with voters, but with representatives of all parties.”

When DVJournal asked her why it was okay for Commissioner Marian Moskowitz to serve on the Board of Elections while she was a candidate, Brain said, “Marian Moskowitz is running for a party position, and the Election Code does not prohibit a member of a Board of Elections from running for a party position.”

Moskowitz is running to be a delegate to the National Democratic Convention.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or

Chesco GOP Decries Democrat Officials’ Incompetence in Wake of Prisoner Escape

Candidates and members of the Chester County GOP held a rally on the steps of the old courthouse Wednesday in the wake of the escape of murderer Danelo Cavalcante.

Cavalcante, who was wanted for murder in his native Brazil, brutally stabbed his girlfriend to death in front of her children. A  jury convicted him, and a judge sentenced him to life in prison in August.

While he was being held at the Chester County Prison awaiting transfer to a state prison, on Aug. 31, Cavalcante “crab-walked” up two walls in a narrow corridor to the jail’s roof and made his way off the premises to freedom.

Another inmate used that approach in May, escaping too, but was quickly recaptured.

Also, on Wednesday, the county Prison Board, which includes the county commissioners, sheriff, and district attorney, held a meeting and voted on renovations to the jail, including walls to enclose the exercise yards.

The Republicans promised if the voters elect them, they would do better than the Democrats, who now hold all the county row offices except one commissioner’s seat reserved for the minority party. They all praised the efforts of law enforcement officials who tracked Cavalcante down.

“The world is watching. In my hands is an article from The Washington Post that details how our detractors reveled in our chaos since Cavalcante escaped and made this monster of a man into a cult hero,” said Eric Roe, a former state representative running for county commissioner. “All because our county’s leaders failed to keep him locked up in prison.”

Roe recounted how “men and women stayed awake at night, keeping watch over their home while their spouses and children slept. I was struck by the number of people who listened out their windows for the sound of rustling leaves and footsteps and the sight of flashlights in nearby woods.”

Chester County GOP candidates (left to right) Ryan Hyde, Eric Roe, David Sommers, and Roy Kofroth

“People move here and choose to remain here because safety, until recently, has been at the core of the Chester County experience. But all that changed on Aug. 31. We have to get that back. As your county commissioner, I’ll see to it that we do get that back. Chester County is watching.”

Commissioner candidate Dave Sommers, a teacher, said, “The primary role for any government is the safety and wellbeing of its residents. Chester County Commissioners are responsible for ensuring the safety for our communities as outlined in the Prison  Mission Statement. However, the safety of Chester County was placed in jeopardy.”

“What more evidence need we provide that local and municipal elections matter?” asked Sommers. “Your daily life, for good or bad, is greatly affected by those you entrust to hold public office.   Motivation to vote has become very clear over the past three weeks. Chester County deserves better from its elected officials.”

Roy Kofroth, a former Chester County sheriff’s deputy now running for sheriff, said he had been a deputy under the previous sheriff and the current sheriff, as well as a small business owner.

“Just four years ago, our Sheriff’s Office had approximately 60 working deputies, the ones that you see protecting our buildings, in the courtrooms, transporting prisoners, among other jobs. We now have around 17-18. That means the office is running at one-third capacity.

“We had eight award-winning dogs; that is one-quarter of what we used to have. We had a fugitive apprehension team. That’s gone…The Sheriff’s Office is so unprepared it it was only a matter of time before something would happen.

In the words of Chester County Prison Warden Howard Holland on Monday, ‘If we had dogs, we would have gotten him that day.’”

Ryan Hyde, a lawyer running for district attorney, said, “Three weeks ago, most of us can say our bubble was shattered. The idea of public safety became a punch line for people. I heard on the news he was within two and a half miles from my house. I didn’t sleep that night. An armed and dangerous felon was in the towns within Chester County.”

People tell Hyde they never locked the doors on their homes and cars, but now they do. And they’re noticing more crime.

“Two men, two nights ago, took hammers and broke into a kids’ toy shop to steal Pokemon cards. Last night in West Chester, a man wrestled with two police officers.

“The time where we say that doesn’t happen in Chester County is long gone. Part of it is because of what I like to call erosion,” he said. “We learned to take a little bit more each time. We learned to accept a little bit more.”

“My opponent came out with an ad that says he ‘thinks about public safety.’ All of us think about public safety. All of us do. All of us want to walk out in our yard and be safe. And all of us want to know if someone does break into their house, not only will they be captured, but they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. That’s what we need…We want to go to a world where the police and District Attorney are responsive,” said Hyde.

He promised to bring law and order back to the county if elected.

Chester County GOP Chairman Raffi Terzian led the group of about 25 supporters in a chant, “Chester County deserves better.”

As for their Democratic opposition in the wake of the Cavalcante escape, Terzian said, “Now these elected officials are asking us to re-elect them or promote them to a judicial position. I say Chester County deserves better. This episode exposed a series of systemic problems and failures.”

“We deserve highly competent leadership who puts the interests of its citizens first, who prioritizes safety and security, who act with transparency as the bottom line. We cannot trust those who created the problem to fix it. It is time for a change.”

In contrast, Chester County Democratic Chair Charlotte Valyo praised the Democrat officials after Cavalcante was captured.

“We can be proud of our elected officials who remained calm and continued to do their jobs under the duress of public scrutiny and criticism,” Valyo said. “Now they are free to share the actions and plans being implemented to ensure this situation does not happen again. Our elected officials have governed well through every crisis presented to them, and they will continue to make the decisions that are best for all of Chester County.”

Dr. Raffi Terzian Vies for Chester County GOP Chair

The Tredyffrin Republican Committee chairman wants to become chairman of the Chester County Republicans, replacing current chair Dr. Gordon Eck.

Dr. Raffi Terzian told Delaware Valley Journal that “it’s time for new leadership.”

He plans to unify the party and also work to bring in more independent voters.

“We’ve had a leadership model that is top-down,” said Terzian. “And I intend to bring in a team-oriented approach to managing the party.”

Terzian sent an email with his resume and plans to revitalize the county GOP to party members, saying he would like to be elected chairman. The county committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday to reorganize and will vote on whether to elect Terzian or keep the current chairman.

Eck did not respond to requests for comment.

“It is time to chart a new course for the Republican Party of Chester County,” Terzian wrote to committee members. “We must unify and restore confidence in our party with the residents of our county. We cannot allow our opponents to define who we are; we must clearly articulate our shared values, and which resonate with our community. We must leverage the many talents and abilities of this committee in a team-oriented, collaborative approach and lead with integrity, transparency, and consistency.”

He is also proposing a new slate of officers as well: Executive Vice-Chair John Emmons; Vice-Chair Paula Tropiano; Treasurer Norman MacQueen; Financial Secretary Barbara Spall; Secretary Ann Marie Franciscus; and Assistant Secretary Trish Milanese.

Some political observers say they believe the Chester County GOP may be ripe for a change.

“Given the election results over the last few cycles in addition to the swing in voter registration numbers now favoring Democrats for the first time since the Civil War, the challenge to Chester County’s current Republican leadership is not surprising,” said Jeff Jubelirer, vice president with Bellevue Communications Group. “The political winds seem to be pointing to Republican gains across the state and nation in 2022, but recent results in Chester County elections don’t necessarily portend for a similar outcome locally.

“As the general election approaches with open seats for governor and U.S. Senate – a seat that could determine the balance of power in the chamber – this is an opportunity for Chester County Republicans to reset in advance of such a critical time,” Jubelirer added.

There are about 5,000 more Democrats than Republicans in Chester County and the Democrats took control of the county commissioners in 2019, along with the district attorney’s office.

An ER doctor, Terzian is married to Roseanne Terzian and has four children. The family has lived in Chester County for 19 years.

He wants to “foster a grassroots effort that involves all our committee people and has them invested in what it is we’re doing.”

Terzian believes fundraising is essential so the committee will be able to get its message out.

“We will adopt a multifaceted approach to fundraising” and “have a clear communication strategy” that “involves a multimodal approach.”

“We have to have a robust get-out-the-vote effort that includes outreach not only to our voters but to new residents of the county, along with folks who may be unaffiliated,” he added.

He plans to keep in closer touch with voters and constituents not just via emails or text messages.

“We want to meet them where they are,” said Terzian.

He plans to talk to voters about Republican solutions to their problems and listen to their issues. Republicans ran the county well for a long time, he noted. And, Republicans are fiscally responsible, and for smaller government, he added.

“I think economic issues are first and foremost on people’s minds at the moment,” Terzian said.

But they have to get their message out to voters and Terzian believes that he is the person to do that.

“We’ve allowed our opponents to define who we are,” he said.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or