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Chester County Press

Saluting Andy

11/03/2020 02:14PM ● By Steven Hoffman

When Chester County voters went to the polls on Tuesday—or completed their ballots at home and mailed them in—there was one familiar name missing from the list of candidates.

State Sen. Andrew Dinniman—known widely in the county simply as “Andy”—is retiring after three decades as a public servant.

Dinniman was already a nearly iconic figure in Chester County politics when he first ran for a State Senate seat representing the 19th District in 2006. By that time, Dinniman had already served as a Chester County Commissioner for 15 years. That made him the longest-serving commissioner in the county’s history.

Dinniman then won four campaigns for the State Senate even though he was a Democrat in a district that had been electing Republicans for more than a century. While serving In the State Senate, his priorities have included access to education, economic security and job growth, local government control over local issues, environmental protection, historic preservation, and quality-of-life issues.

During his time in public service, whether he was serving as a county commissioner or a state senator, Dinniman has been a tireless worker on behalf of local residents and families. He is always quick to assist local municipalities and Chester County nonprofit organizations with issues of importance.

He is one of the most prominent critics of the Mariner East pipeline system, advocating on behalf of local residents who shared their concerns with him. 

During his time as county commissioner, Dinniman helped develop and implement Landscapes, the county’s award-winning open space plan, and he also helped boost the quality of life for residents by advocating for issues like poverty and homelessness. He was always the lone Democrat on the three-person Board of Commissioners, so his willingness to reach across the aisle and work collaboratively with Republicans became one of the hallmarks of his political career. He has never forgotten how to work collaboratively with others to get the job done.

At one time—and for a long time—Dinniman was the standard-bearer for the Democratic Party in this part of the world—winning elections at a time when only Republicans were winning elections at the county level. It says a lot about Andy that he was able to survive—and thrive—in that political climate.

Now, here we are in 2020 and the Democratic Party not only controls the county government, a Democrat occupies the Congressional seat.

By the time you read this, you’ll likely know who won the State Senate race in the 19th District. We don’t know who won that race, but we do know that they will have big shoes to fill. Andy Dinniman is a Chester County original, and we thank him for his work on behalf of local residents.