Statement from Chairman McGinnis on Appointment of
Michelle Kichline to Board of Commissioners
December 11, 2014
“The appointment of Michelle Kichline to the Chester County Board of Commissioners signals a clear double standard that exists among the judges of the Court of Common Pleas,” said Brian McGinnis, Chair of the Chester County Democratic Committee. “In 2006, Senator Andy Dinniman’s vacated seat was filled by Pat O’Donnell. Instead of respecting the explicit recommendation from the county Democratic Committee that the court appoint Virginia McMichael, who intended to run for the seat in 2007, the judges’ stated reasoning at the time was a desire to appoint a replacement who would not be a candidate for the office in 2007, so the primary process could play out without an incumbent in the race. But in 2010, the Court anointed the choice of the county Republicans in Ryan Costello, who ran for reelection and won.
“This week, the Court filled Costello’s vacancy with Kichline, who is the Vice Chair of the Republican County Committee and has already indicated her intention to run for election to a full term. In fact, the Court chose her unanimously, with no reasoning given to back up the appointment. This clearly points to a backroom deal brokered between the Court and county Republicans, who of course originally financed the judges’ campaigns to get them on the bench. Jurists should not be in the business of creating political careers. Incumbency, and its electoral advantages, should be earned by candidates at the ballot box, not in closed-door meetings in the courthouse.
“I call on Michelle Kichline to serve out the remainder of Costello’s term as a caretaker commissioner and then step aside, to allow the voters of Chester County to choose a candidate in an open electoral process.
“If Kichline does decide to go along with the double standard of the Court and run for election as an incumbent Commissioner, she should not expect an easy path to victory. In 2013, Kichline, as an incumbent Tredyffrin Supervisor, was rejected by the voters, who instead elected her Democratic opponents.”
Brian J McGinnis
Chairman, Chester County Democratic Committee