CCDC Endorsement Convention

The CCDC Endorsement Convention was held on March 19 at Stetson Middle School. There were over 400 attendees (candidates, committee people, proxies, and observers) and the energy was high. The Zone 13 delegation was there in full-force.

Some of the Zone 13 delegation.

Here are the results of the convention. Note that the threshold for an endorsement is now 65% of the vote.

For offices where there was only one candidate the endorsement was automatic.

District Attorney: Deb Ryan – won endorsement
Recorder of Deeds: Chris Pielli – won endorsement

Round #1

PA Superior Court: Amanda Green Hawkins, Dan McCaffery – won endorsements
Court of Common Pleas: Brett Binder, Analisa Sondergaard – won endorsements
County Commissioner: Maxwell, Cozzone, Moskowitz, Kerslake – no endorsement first round
Sheriff: Maddox, Lunsford, Sarro, Boyl – no endorsement first round
Prothonotary: Bookman (57%), Heffern (43%) – no endorsement
Register of Wills: Vaughn (59%), Longo (41%) – no endorsement

Round #2

County Commissioner: Maxwell – won endorsement
Cozzone, Moskowitz, Kerslake – no endorsement second round
Sheriff: Maddox – won endorsement

Round #3

County Commissioner: Cozzone (41%), Moskowitz (59%) – no endorsement

It was a long night. Our delegation was disappointed that our Michele did not win an endorsement. The subject of zone level endorsements will be the topic of our next Zone meeting on April 1 at the township building.

Candidate Petition Process

For the past three weeks East Whiteland/Charlestown and county candidates have been busy collecting the needed signatures to get their names on the Democratic ballot. Many of you attended our annual Pizza Petition Party on February 24.

Some candidates are able to “cross file” and have their names on the Republican Primary ballot! Likewise you may see Republican names on our Democratic Primary ballot on May 21 when we next vote.

How many signatures are needed depends on which race you wish to enter. Our Great Valley School Board candidates need to obtain only 10 signatures from registered voters in GVSD. Someone running for County Office such as Sheriff or Commissioner needs to get 250. Most candidates try to get double that amount to be sure that every signature is valid.

Neha Mehta

On Sunday, March 10 the Chester County Democratic Committee held a Notary Party for any and all candidates running for office in Primary 2019. Many folks from our zone attended. Michele Vaughn is running as one of two candidates for Register of Wills. Dr. Neha Mehta is running for Region 2 GVSD. All forms needed to be notarized and then turned in to Chester County Voter Services by 4:30 pm March 12.

Voter Services of Chester County collects all petitions and then begins the process of creating the ballot that we’ll see on May 21. A few things happen along the way. Individuals may challenge the validity of a nomination petition within seven days of the filing deadline. Voter Services writes on their website:

Typically, signatures are challenged on the basis that the signer was not qualified to sign the candidate’s nomination petition or paper, or the information provided by the signer is illegible. On some occasions, the validity of a signature is challenged on the basis that the signer’s handwriting or signature does not match that contained in the signer’s registration record. Most other challenges are based on the accuracy of the information provided by the candidate on the Candidate’s Affidavit or Statement of Financial Interests.

Jerry Pyne and Michele Vaughn

Ballot position is the next step in the election process. If there are more names than the number of votes that may be cast for an office, a drawing is held for ballot position.

An interesting side note for the General Election in November:

Since the current Governor of Pennsylvania is a registered Democrat, all Democratic party candidates will appear first. If the office requires a vote for more than one candidate, names will be listed according to the number of votes received in the Primary, with the highest vote getter listed first.

Marsha Peltz, Dan Boyle, Beth Sweet

We wish all of our candidates the best of luck as the petition process ends and we await the results of the CCDC Endorsement Convention on March 19. Zone Leader Jerry Pyne will lead our 16-member delegation of Committee Persons, Zone Leader and Assistant Zone Leader. Our own Marsha Peltz, Vice Chair of CCDC, will be seen on the Convention stage throughout the process!

The 2019 petition period ends on Tuesday, March 12. Feel free to reach out to Jerry or Marsha about our Primary or if you would like to run for office one day!

CCDC By-Law Convention

Chairman Dick Bingham

Zone 13 was well represented at the 2019 Bylaws Convention and Candidates Forum on Thursday, Feb. 21.
Chairman Dick Bingham led the packed auditorium through the Articles and amendments of our CCDC Bylaws to update them for the first time in almost a decade.
Our Committee Persons and their proxies got to hear from 21 well-qualified candidates hoping to win an endorsed slot on the May 21 Primary ballot. Our own zone’s Michele Vaughn is running for Register of Wills.

Thank you to all who attended from East Whiteland and Charlestown:

Jerry Pyne
Chris Demas
Marsha Peltz
John Neefe
Carl Abramson
Amanda Snyder
Michele Vaughn
Samantha Jouin
Tom Parker
Irene Banionis
Steve Rhoades
Dave Hesson

For up-to-the-moment information on who’s running for County and Statewide offices, visit the CCDC website at

Paperwork is ready

East Whiteland and Charlestown CPs

Candidates (left) make their pitch.

Delegates can vote, candidates cannot.

More 2019 Candidates Pitch to Zone 13

On Monday, Feb. 4, nine candidates made their pitch at the Zone 13 meeting.  A brief bio of each can be found here.

These candidate need petition signatures to make it onto the primary ballot.  There will be a petition signing party at John’s Pizza on Sunday, Feb. 24 from 2 to 5 pm.

Debbie Bookman (Prothonotary) w/Jerry Pyne

Dan Boyle (Sheriff)

Joe Heffren (Prothonotary)

Jim Kovaleski (Charlestown Magisterial Judge)

Tip McCabe (Judge/Common Pleas)

Alita Rovito (Judge/Common Pleas)

Dan Maisano (Judge/Common Pleas)

Joe Lunsford (Sheriff)

Michele Vaughn (Register of Wills)



Meet School Board Candidate Neha Mehta

(L to R) Gerry Pyne, Denise Vankenburgh, Dr. Neha Mehta, and Betsy Allinson

Say hello to our Region 2 School Board Candidate, Dr. Neha Mehta (pronounced nay-ha meh-ta). Neha is a pediatrician and mother to three Great Valley School students.  She shared with us that her children attend school in grades Kindergarten to 6th.  Her husband is a cardiologist at Paoli Hospital.  They have lived in our township since 2004.
This year there are two openings for GV School Board Region 2.  Eligible voters live in four precincts —
EW 1 (Immaculata), EW 2 (GV School District Building) and EW 3 (Peoples Pantry) plus Malvern Borough. 
Neha will be campaigning in our zone and next door with the Willistown/Malvern Dems.

Meet more candidates for the primary election

Zone 13 held its meeting last night and this brought more excellent candidates in the May primary election.  Below each picture is a link to the candidate’s website giving their background and qualifications.

Bret Binder: candidate for Court of Common Pleas.

Link to Bret Binder info.

Left to right: Kathi Cozzone (candidate for County Commissioner), Jerry Pyne (zone 13 leader), Mike McGann (candidate for Register of Wills), Chris Demas (zone 13 assistant leader).

Link to Kathi Cozzone info.

Link to Mike McGann info.

Middle: Fredda Maddox (candidate for Sheriff).

Link to Fredda Maddox info.

Ginny Kerslake: candidate for County Commissioner.

Link to Ginny Kerslake info.

Chris Pielli: candidate for Recorder of Deeds.

Link to Chris Pielli info.


Rep. Howard’s office is Open

Please sign up for Kristine’s newsletter by clicking on the link in the upper right corner here

Tim Kearny (state senator) with Kristine Howard (state representative)

Office is located at Greentree building, Suite 309, 40 Lloyd Ave., Malvern 19355

Kristine Howard (2nd from left) with Zone 13 members

Kristine Howard (3rd from left) with Zone 13 members

2019 Candidates

From left to right: Analisa Sondergaard, Marian Moskowitz, Deborah Ryan, Joshua Maxwell
From left to right: Analisa Sondergaard, Marian Moskowitz, Deborah Ryan, Joshua Maxwell

At the meeting on December 3 we met some 2019 candidates.  Here are their names and the positions they are running for:

  • Analisa Sondergaard – Currently Magisterial Judge, will be running for the Court of Common Pleas
  • Marian Moskowitz – Currently serving on many non-profit boards, will be running for County Commissioner
  • Deborah Ryan – Currently serving as County Coordinator for Safe and Healthy Communities, will be running for District Attorney
  • Joshua Maxwell – Current mayor of Downingtown PA, will be running for County Commissioner.

There’s a lot more to be learned about these and other candidates in the upcoming year.


Countywide Election Analysis

Analysis by Nathaniel Smith

For data election fans, the results at are now official.

We have often lamented low voter turnout but we know it was great on Nov. 6. As mentioned previously, the overall turnout figure per Voter Services is 66%.  I actually think it should be considered higher, if we look at the % of all voters who have maintained updated voter records, as explained at the end below.

Beyond the sheer fact of the Blue Wave, a look at the Chesco results by district turns up very interesting results,

On average, Chesco Dems have a 6% registration deficit; they have an edge over R’s only in PA House 157 (1%) and 74 (17%; remember: that’s the district gerrymandered in 2011 to pack Dems and take Dems out of surrounding districts). Because of the number of I’s (17% overall), neither party has more than ½ the voters in any district except 51% R’s in House 26 and 50.5% Ds in the 74th.

In countywide races, the Dem candidates won by a substantial margin (Wolf & Fetterman by 24% of all votes in their race; Casey by 20%; and Houlahan by 17%) and their votes received were around 120% of the number of Dems registered. In PA Senate 26 and 44, the figures were 123% and 111%, and in the PA House they averaged 106% (below 100% only in PA House 13 and 74).

In every single district, Dem candidates’ votes as a % of registered Dems were higher than R candidates’ votes as a % of registered Rs, with an average 26% D advantage in that comparison. But where that D advantage was smaller (7% in the 13th, 21% in the House 26th), the Dem couldn’t catch up because of low turnout (PA House 74, where Dem reg predominates, is an exception, with only a 4% difference in this ratio).

The total vote for Chesco’s PA House seats gave a 7% edge to D candidates. From a 6% reg deficit to a 7% votes edge: that’s impressive! R’s won in only 2 districts in Chester County: PA House 13 and 26, where turnout was less than the county average of 76% (the only other below-average turnout district, the 74th, was won resoundingly by the Dem). Those 3 below-average turnout districts lie at the western edge of the County; turnout tended to be somewhat higher in the East of the County. (Overall the D did not win the 160th, despite the 2nd highest Chesco winning % of any House seat, because the vote in Delco was so unfavorable.)

Districts won by Dems had these factors in common:

• a Dem registration advantage, or a disadvantage under 10%

• total (D+R+I) voter turnout over 77% (except PA House 74)

• Dem candidates received votes over 110% of the number of registered Dems (except PA House 74)

It is clear that, as in the past, Dem candidates picked up sizable numbers of votes from registered R’s and I’s. We can hope to say more when the latest data enters VoteBuilder, so that we can get a precise idea of turnout by party in each district. But the conclusion remains no surprise: Dems here need more R’s and I’s to become, or at least vote for, Dems.

Progress is incremental: as we all recall, Hillary Clinton won Chester County by 25,000 votes, But where she did not win, basically the northern and western tiers of the County, forming the bulk of the 13th and 26th House districts (and similarly the adjoining area of Delco that forms most of the 160th), historical redness proved too great an obstacle for Dem candidates to overcome this year.

We get the luxury of a few more days to indulge in retrospectives, and then after Thanksgiving we start looking forward to the 2019 campaigns and many important races!

[N.b. The registration figures I use above are lower than those given by Voter Services, because I excluded voters marked in VoteBuilder as having bad voting or mailing addresses or as being deceased. One could analyze it differently, but I think it’s most realistic to expect that those voters are not really voters here any more (indeed, relatively few of them voted in the previous 3 elections either, which one can check as of now). Therefore, I get higher turnout figures than the official Voter Services figure (countywide: about 76% compared to 66%). At any rate, this decision should not much affect the comparison of districts’ turnouts, just the exact numbers and %’s of difference.]