Sheriff Welsh will not seek re-election
● By J. Chambless
Sheriff Carolyn Welsh
After nearly two decades, the first
female sheriff elected in Chester County has announced that she will
retire from the Sheriff’s Office and therefore won’t be seeking
re-election. Her term ends in early 2020.
Chester County Sheriff Carolyn Bunny Welsh, the longest-serving sheriff in county history, said she plans to pursue one of several opportunities that have surfaced. “Sometimes, God leads you down a path and opens doors where you least expect it,” Welsh said. “After serving as sheriff for 20 years, I will be looking forward to a new challenge in 2020.”
Welsh said she is weighing several options and will not disclose her decision until it has been finalized. She added that she was announcing her intention to change course now to give qualified candidates an opportunity to step forward and be considered.
“I care deeply about this office,” she said. “Leading it has been one of the greatest honors. I am thankful to the citizens who continued to give me their trust and confidence.”
Welsh, a resident of Pennsbury Township, was the first woman to be elected president of a graduating class at the National Sheriffs Institute, Welsh also became the first female president of the Pennsylvania Sheriffs’ Association in 2009.
She was elected in 2011 to the board of the National Sheriffs Association, which oversees more than 3,000 sheriffs across the nation. She currently serves on the NSA’s executive committee as third vice president, the first woman ever to hold that post. She is co-chair of the National Coalition on Violence Against Animals (NCOVAA) and a board member of the National Flag Foundation.
Locally, Welsh is a member of the Rotary Club of West Chester and serves as vice president of the Chester County Hero Fund. She sits on the board of the Chester County Family Academy and the Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School.
In 1997, Welsh was named one of the Top 50 Women in Business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
In 2014, Philadelphia Main Line Today Magazine named Welsh, a mother of four and grandmother of nine, one of its 24 power women. And in 2018, Welsh received the Senator Robert J. Thompson Public Service Award for the broad scope of her myriad accomplishments.
Welsh acknowledged that handing over the Sheriff’s Office to her successor will be bittersweet. “I hope that he or she will share both my pride and my passion for this wonderful job,” she said. “I also hope they will recognize what an honor it is to work with these extraordinary men and women who serve the courts and the citizens with professionalism and dignity.”