Hogan will not seek re-election to district attorney post
● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
At a time when the direction of the Republican Party in Chester County seems to be spiraling in free fall, Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan recently announced that he will not seek re-election to the office he has held since 2011.
Hogan, a Republican who has been with the DA's office for 21 years, cited family reasons for his decision to drop out of the race. He said he will remain in his office until January when his term ends, and that his first assistant Michael Noone, will replace him on the November ballot, against Democrat Deb Ryan, a 15-year veteran of the Chester County and Philadelphia DA's offices, and who led Chester County’s Child Abuse Unit.
Under Hogan, the county's DA's Office has earned kudos for its two-prong battle against opioid and heroin distribution and addiction in the county. It established a multi-agency task force to target dealers and seek treatment for those suffering from addiction. Hogan has also spearheaded a county-wide consortium of agencies and individuals, combined with innovative investigation techniques, to create protections for children and elders against predators and abusers, while stepping up the county's response to active shooters, shooting investigations, eyewitness identifications, as well as providing body cameras for police throughout the county.
“The Chester County District Attorney’s Office now stands as that “shining city upon a hill,” an example of what a prosecutor’s office should and must be,” Hogan wrote on his Facebook page. “The DAO is as strong and deep as it ever has been. I am proud to leave that as my legacy.”
Hogan cited three factors that led to his decision: that his office has accomplished “everything we set out to do and more;” that he was honoring the request of his family; and the need for a new challenge.
With the wind of a successful tenure as the county's DA on his back as he headed into a possible third term, Hogan's announcement comes as a surprise to a Republican base who view the decision as poor timing, and the latest setback for a party that has absorbed a lot of bruises in the past few years.
In November 2017, Patricia Maisano, Yolanda Van de Krol, Dr. Christina Vandepol and Margaret Reif became the first Democrats to occupy seats on the Chester County row since 1799. In late 2018, Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh, Chester County’s first female elected sheriff and among the county’s longest serving public officials, announced that she would not seek re-election to a sixth term in 2019.
In March 2018, Republican U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello of the 6th District announced that he would not seek re-election to the U.S. House. Val DiGiorgio, a Philadelphia attorney who led the Chester County Republican Party for several years before becoming the Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman, resigned from his position in late June, after it was reported that he had traded sexually explicit messages with a onetime GOP candidate for Philadelphia City Council.
A few weeks later, County Controller Reif initiated legal action against Welsh, calling for a refund of more than $67,000 in overtime pay given to Lt. Harry McKinney, with whom Welsh has a personal relationship. For Hogan, however, the decision to not enter into a campaign against Ryan this fall is, in his words, “the right time.”
“I have been a line Assistant District Attorney, trying every case that came along,” Hogan wrote on his Facebook page. “I have been a federal prosecutor, with the enormous powers that accompany that job. I have been the District Attorney, and got to re-make the DAO into my own vision, a hybrid between a federal prosecutor’s office and a local prosecutor’s office.
“Now is the right time in my life to take up a new challenge.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email firstname.lastname@example.org.