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

Upper Darby GOP Taps Brian Burke for Mayor Bid

The Upper Darby Republicans held a press conference on the township building steps Monday to announce Brian Burke as their candidate for mayor. Burke, now president of the Upper Darby Council, changed parties in March to run as a Republican.

Frank Agovino, Delaware County GOP chair, said Burke would work with other GOP team members for “commonsense principals” to bring fiscal stability and safe streets.

“Under dysfunctional Democratic rule, we’re on the verge of losing everything that is dear to us,” Agovino added. “Brian has stepped forward and will fight for a brighter future for us.”

Burke announced his party switch and candidacy following Mayor Barbarann Keffer, a Democrat, saying she would not run again after being charged with a DUI and going into rehab.

Burke said he loves Upper Darby and enjoys serving it.

“After four years of mismanagement and dysfunction by the mayor and her administration, a change is urgently needed,” Burke said. “As president of council, I’ve had a front-row seat of the administration’s mismanagement of basic operations and finance. I’ve been disappointed and frustrated by the administration’s hyper-partisan, overly political bunker mentality.”

For example, “Our police department has worked years without the contract they deserved, making daily sacrifices while politicians in the building made backroom deals for their own benefit,” said Burke. “After four years, we are less safe, less prosperous, and more unstable than at any time in our history. Politics is toxic. This administration has failed. Their constant drama is played out daily in the local press. Why else would a mayor decide not to seek re-election? Successful mayors are re-elected.

“And by the way, if you think the proposed alternative would be any better, just look at the current state of the Upper Darby School District. Again, less safe, less prosperous, and more unstable than at any time in its history.”

Burke referred to the endorsed Democratic candidate for mayor, Edward Brown, now serving as the Upper Darby School Board president.

Former councilman Tom Wagner also spoke.

“We now have a situation in this township; according to widespread news reports, some 18,000 parking tickets have been languishing in this building,” said Wagner. “Not being processed and sent to the courts where they belong, in danger of expiring. The town council has called for an audit of that situation.” But heard nothing for “weeks and weeks.”

“We need a change in the mayor’s office,” Wagner continued. “And we’ve got that change ready to go.” Burke is not interested in politics but interested in working “to get things done for Upper Darby,” Wagner claimed.

Burke has served on Upper Darby Council since 2019 when he was elected as a Democrat to an at-large seat. He has served as president of the township council since January 2022. Burke is a State Local 420 Steamfitter and previously served on the St. Dorothy’s Athletic Association board. He currently serves as vice president of the Aronimink Swim Club. He lives in Upper Darby with his wife and three kids.

Council Vice President Laura Wentz is also running for mayor as an unendorsed Democrat. She is running with a slate of two other unendorsed Democrats called “Democratic Candidates for Change in Upper Darby.”

Those candidates are Alfred E Means II for the 4th District Council seat and Jennifer Howell for Upper Darby School Board.

The primary is May 16. The last day to register to vote is May 1.

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or

Agovino to Chair Delco GOP

Sources in the Delaware Valley GOP tell DVJournal that small businessman Frank Agovino is set to become the new chairman of the Delaware County GOP.

With Tom McGarrigle stepping down as chairman, the committee is set to elect Agovino. He previously ran for a seat on the county council and most recently for state senator.

“No doubt GOP chair is a difficult job in this environment. A rebrand is needed and that starts with common sense messaging,” Agovino told the DVJournal.

“Most Republicans are wanting reasons to be part of the solution. Unfortunately, Democrats capitalized on the rhetoric of certain political figures and successfully painted local candidates as extreme and out of touch. I intend to create an effective communication strategy that speaks to what we truly represent: quality education, fiscal responsibility, support of our law enforcement, lower property taxes, and creating a business-friendly county, to name a few.

“There are plenty of Republican leaders who have terrific ideas and are willing to work hard. Everyone needs to be heard and welcomed to make a difference. I believe whoever is chosen as chair would be in line with this thinking,” he said.

Dave White, who ran for governor earlier this year and had thought about running for chair, said he withdrew his name and will support and help whoever is elected.

“We need to start winning in this state and in Delaware County,” said White.

Agovino grew up in southwest Philadelphia and has lived in Springfield Township for 25 years. He graduated from West Catholic High School and holds a marketing degree from St. Joseph’s University and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Cabrini University.

He serves on the Springfield School Board, where he is treasurer and has been president and vice president. Agovino also served on several other boards, including the YMCA of Eastern Delaware County, the Delaware County Intermediate Unit (2011-2015) as well as the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce (2012-2016).

Agovino is also the founder of DiFabio’s 9th Street Catering, Inc. a Delaware County-based family-owned business. DiFabio’s is a food service company that specializes in catering, and event planning, as well as being a popular restaurant, taproom, and market located in Media.

In 2017, he opened the Media Bean Company, a coffee shop, and eatery that partners with New Avenue Foundation a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to make the lives of the disabled happier and more meaningful through employment. The employment program with the New Avenue Foundation and the Media Bean Company assists people with autism and other disabilities to find jobs while connecting socially with customers and fellow workers.

Agovino and his wife Laura are the parents of a teenage daughter, Alexa.


Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or