WE’VE MOVED!

In the sidebar, click  I VOTED! HAVE YOU? (Well have you?) to see our NEW WEBSITE

Before you go…
To volunteer to help elect Democrats up and down the ballot this year and next, see our facebook page or email contact@wcborodems.org

Jim Salvas, Chair 
West Chester Democratic Committee

Raise the Flag!

Jim Salvas (West Chester Democratic Committee Chair & Property Management Chair) asked Chrissy Houlahan to have this flag flown over the US Capital as soon as she was elected the first Democrat and woman to win the 6th Congressional Seat in the US Congress! Our flag is thus the first flown at Chrissy’s request. 

Pictured is Dick Bingham (CCDC Chair) and Marsha Peltz (CCDC Vice Chair) raising our flag over Chester County Democratic Headquarters at 37 S. High Street in the Borough of West Chester.

Jim donated the flag; CCDC paid for the flagpole and the solar light above it.

Other constituents can request a flag be flown for them by applying here:
https://houlahan.house.gov/services/flag-requests.htm

Remarkable First-timers

 

Screen Shot 2018-09-03 at 8.07.44 PM
Screen Shot 2018-09-04 at 12.16.30 AMBy Frank Bruni and Liriel Higa

 

Usually you only get to dream about a candidate like Chrissy Houlahan. People in the Philadelphia suburbs actually get to vote for her.

She’s brainy: a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Stanford, a master’s in technology and policy from M.I.T. She’s bold: service in the U.S. Air Force. She has entrepreneurial bona fides from her years as the chief operating officer of an athletic wear company but also had a top job for a group promoting childhood literacy. She’s a wife and mother, with two grown daughters.

So why, at 51, has she set her sights on the House of Representatives, when she never ran for any office before?

The answer is Nov. 8, 2016. To vote for Hillary Clinton, she put on a pantsuit. Her gay daughter wore all white, honoring suffragists. That night they broke out the Champagne. “I thought that history would be made,” Houlahan recalled.

When it wasn’t, her father, a Holocaust survivor, cried, fearing what Donald Trump’s victory could mean for the vulnerable and the powerless. Her daughter panicked about L.G.B.T. people. “Unnerving,” Houlahan called it, and her response was “to be part of the solution.” She has since raised about $3 million and emerged as one of the Democratic Party’s best bets to turn a red seat blue.

There are many ways to measure the urgency with which Democrats are approaching the 2018 midterms but perhaps none better than the mettle, motivations and number — much larger than in recent congressional elections — of first-time candidates who have jumped into the fray.

They’re creatures of an atypically tense moment with especially high stakes. They’re mirrors of the anxieties that so many Americans feel. They’re emblems of a yearning for new faces and approaches. They’re the year’s biggest stars and stories.

Full Story • Links to New York Times article

How did West Chester Dems do in the 2018 primary election?

The interesting part of primaries is usually the turnout, which measures the enthusiasm and commitment of voters and, through that, also the effectiveness of party activists.

We usually compare unofficial results right after each election to the corresponding election 4 years earlier, but so much has changed so fast that the 4-year comparison isn’t as meaningful any more as comparing to 2017, a breakthrough year in Dem turnout and success.

Dems comprise 53% of all registered voters in the Borough and slip to 49% only in wards 1 and 5. The registration high point is wards 2E with 72%. The County as a whole is only 39% Dem compared to 43% R and 18% I), but the County D to D+R ratio did increase by .4% in the past year. Chesco Dems are probably in a good period for registrations, though not comparable to 2008. The countywide R lead in registrations (now a bit over 15,000) has been declining slowly since the Dem Obama surge in 2008; but fortunately, our candidates clearly received a good number of R and I votes in the 2016 and 2017 general elections.

Overall the Dem share of D+R registrations in West Chester has risen about 1% in the last year. That makes up for lost ground since the Dem share went down 1% in 2013-17. The D % of D+R reg declined only in precincts 2E (probably reflection Union Station’s continued growth) and 4 (due maybe to large number of I’s, the highest of any precinct at 26%).

WC Dem turnout was 1% less than a year ago. That isn’t surprising, because Dems were extra-ready to act in May 2017, the first election after the surprise of Nov. 2016. Also, 2017 had an exciting the 3-way mayoral primary; and WC D turnout already almost doubled from the 2013 to the 2017 primary. 2018 Dem turnout was down from 2017 by 5% in wards 1 and 2E and by 3% in ward 7, but up slightly (though still low) in wards 5 and 6. As usual, wards 7 and 1 led the way in turnout with 31% and 30%. Overall D turnout of 20% in the Borough, though not intrinsically impressive, was way above R turnout of 12%.

The County Dem turnout increase of 4.4% from 2017 to 2018 is very encouraging. As usual (though not the case in 2017) West Chester Dem turnout was somewhat lower than the County’s, by 3.3%, reflecting our younger and more mobile demography.

Our job now is to hold all our primary voters, and to add a lot more votes, of whatever party, for our candidates in November.

2018 Borough Primary Election Results

Congratulations to all 2018 primary winners! All candidates deserve credit for running strong races and their dedication to advancing Democratic principles. The winners now become the official CCDC candidates for the general election (except that committeepersons now take office). Once again, Chesco is a swing county and Pennsylvania a swing state. So there are 6 more months of hard work ahead: please volunteer to help the candidate of your choice and strengthen our party at the same time!

Winners are in boldface below.

It’s no surprise that Senator Bob Casey, Governor Tom Wolf, and Chrissy Houlahan (US House PA-06, including all of Chesco), all unopposed, won their races. For Lieutenant Governor, from PA Department of State, statewide results were (rearranged from high to low):

FETTERMAN, JOHN K 37.56% 288,116 Votes
AHMAD, NILOFER NINA 23.75%. 182,174 Votes
COZZONE, KATHLEEN M. 18.53%. 142,152 Votes
STACK, MICHAEL J. 16.58%. 127,207 Votes
SOSA, RAYMOND. 3.57%. 27,418 Votes

Map from New York Times (see there also for full PA results for each state district):

So while our own Commissioner Cozzone ran well, Nina Ahmad of Philadelphia probably cut substantially into her vote, and John Fetterman doubtless benefited from his race for the Dem nomination for US Senate 2 years ago and endorsements from Bernie Sanders and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Kathi won Chester County with 61.75%, tribute to her well-received performance as Commissioner, in which office she naturally continues to serve the people of the County.

WEST CHESTER DEMOCRATIC COUNTY COMMITTEE RESULTS

810 WEST CHESTER 1 (Prec-0810)
VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN 2
JIM SALVAS . . . . . . . . . . . .  . 166  38.43%
EMILY PISANO . . . . . . . . . . . . 98  22.69%
KAREN HEINDEL CAVIN . . 163  37.73%
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 . .1.16%

820 WEST CHESTER 2-EAST (Prec-0820)
VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN 2
JAMES DENNIS . . . . . . . . . 38 76.00
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 12 24.00

825 WEST CHESTER 2-WEST (Prec-0825)
VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN 2
NICK ALLEN . . . . . . . . . . 65 69.15
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 29 30.85 [write-in winner: McKinley Foster, 25 votes]

835 WEST CHESTER 3 (Prec-0835)
VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN 2
EDWIN A BROWNLEY JR . . . . . . . 141 52.22
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 129 47.78 [write-in winner: Brian McGinnis, 69 votes]

842 WEST CHESTER 4 (Prec-0842)
VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN 2
JORDAN NORLEY . . . . . . . . . 59 74.68
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 20 25.32 [write-in winner: Kevin Carson, 18 votes]

846 WEST CHESTER 5 (Prec-0846)
VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN 2
SHEILA VACCARO. . . . . . . . . 106 53.81
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 91 46.19 [write-in winner: Don Braceland, 83 votes]

850 WEST CHESTER 6 (Prec-0850)
VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN 2
JANET COLLITON. . . . . . . . . 135 49.63
GEETHA RAMANATHAN. . . . . . . . 133 48.90
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 4 1.47

860 WEST CHESTER 7 (Prec-0860)
VOTE FOR NOT MORE THAN 2
STEPHANIE PHILLIPS MARKSTEIN . . . . 227 53.16
KYLE HUDSON. . . . . . . . . . 195 45.67
WRITE-IN. . . . . . . . . . . 5 1.17

for the newly elected PA State Committee representing Chester County, see here

VOTE Tuesday, May 15, 2018! Get your SAMPLE BALLOTS HERE!

Make voting easier on yourself.  Get familiar with this SAMPLE GENERIC BALLOT FOR WEST CHESTER.
The Chester County Democratic Committee (CCDC) endorses the candidates marked with black ovals.
Consult your precinct committeepersons for information about State and WC Democratic Committee candidates.
To answer questions, Democratic committeepersons are working the polls all day; they are there to help you.
Don’t know your Precinct number or polling place?
The PA Department of State does.

2018 Primary Generic Sample Ballot PDF
for West Chester Borough

Supreme Court refuses to stop new congressional maps in Pennsylvania

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 2.40.38 AM

March 19 at 3:20 PM

The Supreme Court on Monday turned down a request from Republican legislative leaders in Pennsylvania to block a redrawn congressional map that creates more parity between the political parties in the state.

The practical impact is the 2018 elections are likely to be held under a map much more favorable to Democrats, who scored an apparent victory last week in a special election in a strongly Republican congressional district. The 2011 map that has been used this decade has resulted in Republicans consistently winning 13 of the state’s 18 congressional seats.

Monday’s action was the second time that the court declined to get involved in the partisan battle that has roiled Pennsylvania politics. The commonwealth’s highest court earlier this year ruled that a map drawn by Republican leaders in 2011 “clearly, plainly and palpably” violated the free-and-equal-elections clause of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

The U.S. Supreme Court deliberated nearly two weeks before turning down the request to stop the map from being used in this fall’s elections. Generally the justices stay out of the way when a state’s highest court is interpreting its own state constitution.

WHAT IS GERRYMANDERING?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/e447f5c2-07fe-11e6-bfed-ef65dff5970d

Supreme Court upholds new Pa. congressional district map, rejecting Republican challenge

Supreme Court upholds new Pa. congressional district map, rejecting Republican challenge

by Jonathan Lai & Liz Navratil, Philadelphia Inquirer, 3/19/18 [Good! All Chester County is definitively within one district, PA-06, in line with the anti-gerrymandering principle.]

HARRISBURG — The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge to the new congressional map imposed by the state high court, assuring that the redrawn lines would be used in the 2018 elections.

The action came hours after a federal-judge panel dismissed a similar suit, saying Republican lawmakers who brought it had not legal standing. With the back-to-back rejections — both coming on the eve of the petition-filing deadline for congressional candidates — no legal challenges to the map remained.

The new map lines could have an impact on the makeup of the 2019 Congress, with Democrats hopeful that they could pick up at least a few more seats in Pennsylvania….

keep reading at Philadelphia Inquirer

Gerrymandered no more?

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court released its new maps of U.S. Congressional districts today. West Chester remains in the 6th District, but the district itself is very different, now encompassing all of Chester County plus Reading in Berks County. If this maps holds up to the expected Republican court challenge, the new districts will go into effect for this year’s elections.

WHAT IS GERRYMANDERING? https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/e447f5c2-07fe-11e6-bfed-ef65dff5970d

 

CHESCO DEMS LIVING HIGH WITH PURCHASE OF HEADQUARTERS AND STRONG ROSTER OF CANDIDATES

Daily Local News
Staff Report. Posted: 08/06/17   F
OR
IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Settlement On
37 S. High Street In Heart Of West Chester Borough Complete

West Chester, PA (August 8, 2017) – After years of renting, Chester County Dems are finally homeowners. And the timing could not be more ideal as Chester County is home to one of the most active and rapidly growing Democratic organizations in Pennsylvania.

Philanthropist and 37 S. High Street owner Vivian Lasko turned over the keys to the historical building, built in 1893, at settlement on July 27. For the last 16 years, Chester County Democratic Committee (CCDC) ran its headquarters out of the building with approximately 800 SF of first floor office space.

Lasko, widow to long-time West Chester businessman Oscar Lasko who died at age 96 earlier this year, recently put the building on the market. Jim Salvas, the Democratic committee person in Lasko’s precinct, was liaison between her and the CCDC. Salvas noted, “this purchase would not have been possible without Vivian’s generosity, allowing us a right of first offer and help with financing.”

“While the party has always maintained a year-round office in West Chester,” continued CCDC Chairman Brian McGinnis, “we have never owned our headquarters. After searching the county for new space, we were pleased to be able to remain in the midst of West Chester’s vibrant downtown and county seat.”

Chesco Dems, riding high on changing demographics and an increase in voter turnout, decided to put down roots this year, in anticipation of the November 2017 local elections and next year’s national and statewide races.

“This purchase is the result of the hard work and dedication of the members of the Chester County Democratic Committee,” added McGinnis. “I am very humbled to be their Chairman during these exciting times in county politics. We are moving forward with a ton of momentum!”

Under McGinnis and the Executive Board of CCDC’s leadership, ballots in county and local elections are brimming with Democratic candidates, many for the very first time.

“Don’t underestimate the importance of local elections such as school board directors (ensuring that our school districts are solvent and promoting public education) and township supervisors (keeping our townships and boroughs safe places to live and raise a family),” wrote McGinnis earlier this month to his membership. “Local elections matter. Our county-wide candidates will restore integrity, trust, and transparency to government, and our judicial candidates will represent the interests of people over the powerful.”

Election Day 2017 is Tuesday, November 7. There is good reason for optimism in the suburbs.

As the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote after May’s primary, “In Chester County, where Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton outperformed Republican Trump in November by more than 25,000 votes despite a GOP registration advantage, 18 percent of Democrats came out to vote on Tuesday, compared with just 10 percent four years ago.”

For information about Chester County Democratic Committee, visit their website at chescodems.com and follow them on Facebook.