Primary Election results
By Steven Hoffman
The races for various school board, borough council, supervisor, and county-wide positions have now been clarified following the Primary Election on May 21.
Turnout was low, as expected during an off-year Primary Election. But turnout was higher in places with compelling races or issues that are of high importance to voters.
Republicans still hold an edge in the number of registered voters across the county, 148,629 to 138,281, but the margin has been narrowing in recent years. In 2018, Democrats made historic gains, winning all the county row offices that were on the ballot that year.
Will this be the year that Democrats win two of the seats on the three-person Chester County Board of Commissioners? The Primary Election results suggest that it’s at least possible. According to the election data, more Democrats went to the polls last Tuesday than Republicans. There were 30,070 ballots cast on the Democratic side, while Republicans cast 26,272 ballots. Total voter turnout was at 19.60 percent. Democrats turned out at 21.75 percent, while Republicans turned out at 17.68 percent. In November, many of the races throughout Chester County could be decided based on get-out-the-vote efforts.
Here’s a look at some of the results from last Tuesday:
In the race for three seats on the Chester County Board of Commissioners, incumbents Terence Farrell and Michelle Kichline emerged as the nominees on the Republican side—they were unopposed in the Primary Election. On the Democratic side, Josh Maxwell (17,952 votes) and Marian Moskowitz (13,689) earned the nominations over Kathi Cozzone and Ginny Kerslake. This means that there will be at least one new county commissioner at the start of 2020 as Cozzone is the incumbent Democrat on the board.
In the Chester County District Attorney race, incumbent Republican Tom Hogan will be challenged in November by Democrat Deb Ryan. Both candidates were unopposed in the Primary Election.
In the Chester County Sheriff race, where the incumbent, Carolyn Welsh, is retiring, Republicans backed Jim Fitzgerald, while Democrats selected Fredda Maddox by a wide margin from among four candidates.
The Chester County Prothonotary race will be between incumbent Matt Holliday, who earned the Republican nomination, and Democrat Debbie Bookman, who won by a wide margin in the Primary.
The Register of Wills contest will be between Republican incumbent Terri Clark and Michele Vaughn, who earned the Democratic nomination over Lisa Longo.
Amber Little-Turner earned the Republican nomination for the position of Recorder of Deeds, and will face Democrat Chris Pielli in the November election.
Chester County residents will be electing two judges to serve on the Court of Common Pleas. Republicans nominated Charles Gaza and Andrea Cardamone, while Democrats selected Analisa Sondergaard and Brett Binder.
Borough council races
Voters will have a lot of choices to make in some of the borough council races in the area. With three seats up for election in Kennett Square Borough, Mayra Zavala (336 votes), Doug Doerfler (312 votes), Rosa Garza Moore (232 votes) were the top three vote-getters to earn the Democratic nominations. Doerfler is the borough council president and the only one of three incumbents who are seeking reelection this time around. On the Republican side, 358 write-in votes were cast. The Republicans nominees will have an uphill battle to win seats on council in November as Democrats in Kennett Square have been effective in get-out-the-vote efforts.
One similarity between the Kennett Square Borough Council race and the Oxford Borough Council race is that there are three seats up for election. Another similarity is that there is just one incumbent seeking reelection. In Oxford Borough, that incumbent is Peggy Ann Russell, and she was the top vote-getter on the Democratic side. Also winning Democratic nominations were Marybeth Rizzo Moore and Kathryn Goodley Cloyd. On the Republican side, Philip Harris, Mary Lou Baily and Michele Rich-Ianieri won nominations to move to the November election.
There are eight candidates vying for four seats on West Grove Borough Council: Elizabeth Garduno, Karen Beltran, Kristin Proto, and Fred Boyce earned the Democratic nominations, while Mark Johnson, Charles Donovan, Michael Ranieri and Clyde Jacobs, II won the Republican nominations.
Kennett Township, London Grove Township, and Franklin Township are a few of the municipalities that will have contested races for seats on the board of supervisors in November, while in many other municipalities the longtime incumbents have a clear path to reelection.
In Kennett Township, incumbent Richard Leff earned the Democratic nomination, while the Republican nomination was won by Hunter Tower.
Franklin Township has two supervisor seats up for election this year. David Gerstenhaber and Mary McVeigh emerged with the Democratic nominations, while on the Republican side it was Brent Van Lith and incumbent David Snyder who earned nominations.
In London Grove Township, where two seats are up for election, Christine Allison and Dina Manceva won the Democratic nominations, while the Republican nominees are Kevin Runey and Richard Scott-Harper. Scott-Harper is an incumbent.
Eric Matuszk and Robert Jerger are the Democratic nominees in East Marlborough Township, while the Republican nominees are incumbent John Sarro and Shelley May Mincer.
There is also an unexpired two-year term up for election in East Marlborough Township. Significant write-in votes were cast on the Democratic side, while Bruce Jameson was the Republican nominee for the two-year term.
Republican incumbents Randy Geouque and Richard Ayotte are seeking reelection to the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors. On the Democratic side, David Unger locked up the nomination. A significant number of write-in votes were cast on the Democratic side as well.
In Penn Township, there will be three candidates vying for two seats on the Penn Township Board of Supervisors. Longtime incumbent Victor Mantegna earned the Democratic nomination, while on the Republican side, Laura Sperratore and Ken Bryson earned the nominations.
In New London Township, Mary Anne Steel earned the Democratic nomination.
In West Nottingham Township, Antonio Pedulla earned the Democratic nomination in the Primary Election, while incumbent William Winand locked up the Republican nomination.
In East Nottingham Township, Republican P. David Smoker locked up the nomination for one seat on the board. For an unexpired two year-term, write-in candidates received votes on the Democratic side, while on the Republican side it was William Weaver who received the nomination.
Then, for an unexpired four-year term, Philip Brenner, Jr. is the Democratic nominee, while John Wallace was the nominee among Republicans. Brenner and Wallace will be vying for the seat in November.
In Elk Township, Republican nominee Milt Rudy is seeking election to the board of supervisors.
In London Britain Township, Russell McKinnon earned the Republican nomination, while Brian Samuel Sachs earned the Democratic nomination.
Upper Oxford Township supervisor Scott Rugen is seeking reelection and locked up the Republican nomination. The same can be said of Joel Brown in Lower Oxford Township.
All Primary Election results were still unofficial at the time this was written. For a full list of results from the Primary Election, visit the Chester County government website and follow the link from the Voter Services page.