Democrats win council seats in Kennett Square
By Steven Hoffman
Democrats in Chester County achieved stunning victories on Election Day, winning county-wide row office positions, judicial races, and seats on local school boards and borough councils throughout the area.
The wins in the county-wide row offices were truly historic: No Democrat had ever managed to win one of the nine row office positions in county-wide races, and in the Nov. 7 election Democrats swept the clerk of courts, controller, coroner and treasurer races.
Most people pointed to a highly motivated and energetic Democratic base as the reason for the success. Voter turnout was significantly higher than it normally is for an off-year election, and in Chester County more people voted straight party for Democrats (26,720 votes) than voted straight party for Republicans (24,818 votes).
“By all measures, Tuesday's election was a historic win for the Democratic Party in our area. But the biggest winner was Democracy itself, as voters braved the cold and rain in unprecedented numbers for an 'off-year' election,” said Wayne Braffman, the Chair of the Kennett Area Democrats, which represents the Democratic Party in Avondale, East Marlborough, Kennett Square, Kennett Township, London Britain, New Garden, Newlin, Pennsbury, Pocopson and West Marlborough.
One illustration of the Democratic Party's success on Election Day came in Kennett Square Borough. There were eight qualified candidates competing for four seats on Kennett Square Borough Council, and Democrats walked away winning all four seats as incumbent council members LaToya Myers (569 votes) and Ethan Cramer (523 votes) and first-time candidates Brenda Mercomes (546 votes) and Peter Waterkotte (524 votes) garnered enough support to out-poll the top Republican vote-getter by 50 votes.
According to Braffman, the formula for the victories throughout Chester County was simple. “First,” he explained, “we fielded exceptionally qualified candidates who put people first, and second, our volunteers worked with a passion and commitment normally reserved for Presidential campaigns.”
Democrats won important gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, and with the party's gains in places like Chester County, this year's election results were seen as a push-back against the policies and politics of President Donald Trump—and, perhaps, the start of a wave that could transform the political landscape in 2018.
“Even though these were local elections, national politics did play a role,” Braffman said. “Voters across the political spectrum sent a message that they were not pleased with the direction that President Trump is trying to take our country. I sincerely hope he was listening.”
Braffman is already looking toward the 2018 election, which will be extremely important both at the state and national level. He encouraged anyone interested in learning more about the work of the Kennett Area Democrats to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or to visit the website www.KennettAreaDemocrats.com.