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Dems Flip 5 Eastern PA Counties

Democrats continue their momentum in the Philadelphia suburbs and eastern Pennsylvania. 

Just two years after the Delaware County Democratic Party picked up two seats for the first time on the county’s five-member council, Democrats will now occupy the three other seats, completely ousting Republicans from the council. 

Democrats Christine Reuther, a tax and business attorney, Radnor Conservancy founder Elaine Paul Schaefer, and University of the Sciences professor Monica Taylor bested Republicans Mike Morgan, a non-profit board chair, plumbing and heating business owner Jim Raith and special needs advocate Kelly Colvin. 

In addition to totally flipping control of the county council, Democratic District Attorney candidate Jack Stollsteimer narrowly edged out incumbent Republican District Attorney Katayoun Copeland. Stollsteimer becomes the first Democrat to ever lead the District Attorney’s office in the county. 

Both campaigns have criticized the other for campaign contributions from outside groups. Copeland’s campaign attacked Stollsteimer for the $100,000 contribution from liberal billionaire George Soros. Stollsteimer fired back at Copeland for the nearly $500,000 in to race from “two dark money PACS” and “Trump Republicans.” 

After Stollsteimer declared victory, Delaware County Republican Chairman Tom McGarrigle said that Copeland was the “most qualified district attorney that has ever sat in that seat,” and said that her loss should “concern every one of you that has a home a family or a business in Delaware County because, you know what? You shouldn’t feel safe anymore,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Justine McDaniel

The Delco Daily Times reports that with about 98% of the vote counted, about 40% of the county’s registered voters had gone to the polls. 

In Chester County, which was the lone county in the state to flip from Gov. Mitt Romney for president in 2012 to Sec. Hillary Clinton in 2016, also was the home to historic Democratic victories Tuesday night. 

Democratic Mayor Josh Maxwell and Marian Moskowitz, a businesswoman, declared victory in the race for Chester County Board of Commissioners a little before 11 PM. Maxwell and Moskowitz become the first Democrats in the county to hold a majority on the Board of Commissioners.  

A Democrat also won the race to succeed Chester County Republican District Attorney Tom Hogan, who announced in the summer that he would not be seeking another term for office. Deb Ryan bested Republican Michael Noone for the position, which has also never been held by a Democrat.

Bucks County, which is home to the lone Republican Congressman in the Philadelphia suburbs, Brian Fitzpatrick, also saw Democrats take control of the county government for the first time in more than three decades.

GOP Bucks County Commissioner Rob Loughery finished in fourth place in his reelection bid, losing to incumbent Democratic Commissioner Diane Ellis Marseglia, who had the highest vote total seeking the office, and Democrat Bob Harvie. The lone Republican that will serve on the board will be state Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, who finished in second place in the race.

Moving beyond the Philadelphia suburbs, but staying in the eastern region of the state, Democrats also gained control of commissioner boards in Lehigh and Monroe counties.

The four commissioner at-large seats in Lehigh County will now be held by Democrats for the first time in decades. Incumbent Democratic Commissioner Dan Hartzell led the pack with garnering 14.77% of the vote, immigration attorney Dave Harrington received the second highest vote total with 12.93%, followed by Bob Elbich at 12.5% and Zakiya Smalls at 12.28%. Incumbent Republican Commissioner, and former Congressional candidate, Marty Nothstein and Commissioner Brad Osborne finished in sixth and fifth place respectively and will no longer hold the position.

In Monroe County, Democrats Sharon Laverdure, who received 26% of the vote, and John Christy, who had 25% of the vote, finished in second and third place in the county commissioner race giving the Democrats the majority. Republican John Moyer finished in first place in vote total, slightly edging out Laverdure, but Republican Charles A. Garris finished in last place, failing to earn one of the three seats.

The Democratic dominance in the eastern region of the state was noteworthy, but Republicans also saw significant gains in the western region, flipping four western Pennsylvania county commissioner seats.

At the conclusion of the 2019 election, Democrats flipped five county commissioner seats, all in eastern Pennsylvania, while Republicans flipped 6 seats, 4 of them in western Pennsylvania and the others in the northeast and north-central PA.

This story was updated to include the Democratic pickups in Bucks, Lehigh and Monroe counties and the Republican pickups in western Pennsylvania. 

11 Responses

  1. No surprise that none of the post-election articles even mention Montgomery County anymore–as Liz Havey has run it into the ground. The Party is dead there. No Republicans won any row office or judgeship, again, even though the GOP is guaranteed a seat on the Board of Commissioners. And that guy, Gale, is at war with Havey. She needs to resign immediately. And the Party needs to be blown up and reconstructed.

  2. Everyone needs to pray and ask God to help us!
    We need God and NO ONE else!!
    Lord,please crush our pride!!

  3. As the American electorate becomes less rural, less religious, less backward, less bigoted, and less white, the Republican Party will find it increasingly difficult to maintain a national electoral coalition for intolerance and ignorance. The conservatives should continue to control the can’t-keep-up backwaters (including most of Pennsylvania) but bright flight will continue to devastate those places, reducing population, influence, and economic prospects. Republicans seem destined to be uncompetitive in educated, modern, reasoning, successful communities.

    Against this background, the Republican Party must change or die.

    Either would be fine from my perspective.

    1. One would hope. Yet, decades after defeating the Nazis, we’ve got more of them in the US, with their leader in the White House.

      Half the population has below-average intelligence (by definition). There is sadly a large population of people hardwired for bigotry and blaming others (Jews, Blacks, Mexicans, Muslims, etc.) as the cause of their hardships or inadequacies, and susceptible to conspiracy theories.

      Look how many don’t believe in evolution.

      The GOP’s strategy is exploit the poor, by getting the stupid to vote for them.

    2. Actually as they become less educated, more backward, and more bigoted they are going to the Dems.

      And you’ll notice the ring counties are the ones that are flipping, as Dems flee cities run by Dems with terrible Dem policies, only to vote for politicians espousing the same policies.

      Against this background, the Republican Party must change.

  4. The Delco victory was no surprise to anyone that looked at the numbers:
    In Nov 2017, the Delco Dems had a 13,000 registration advantage and won all the county races (but one common pleas race) by 2,000 to 7,000 votes (and on a rainy day). The race that lost was by 1,600.

    Jump to 2019: The registration advantage jumped to 26,000. So, if only a third of the extra 13,000 difference showed up, the “baseline” moves up by at least 4,000 with nothing else changed. So, -1,600 goes to 2,400 win, and the rest 6,000 to 11,000

    Now, add in that it was nice weather, Delco has a new Dem congresswoman, state senator and 3 state reps, and an extremely energized party doing GOTV, mailings, TV ads, etc.

    That easily adds another 2,000:
    so 4,400 min win and other wins in the 8,000 to 13,000 range

    It barely mattered who the candidates were, as long as they were decent/capable, and not complete f*ckups. Because we had a convention and picked from dozens of candidates, we wound up with excellent candidates.

    We needed only 1 of the 3 council candidates to take control, but there was never any doubt that we would sweep bigger than 2017.

  5. The Democrats flipped Bucks as well. This marks the end of the Republican Southeast power structure. Bucks, Delco, and Chester have entered the Montco zone and there is no going back. The ramifications will be huge for the PA GOP establishment as it continues to fracture.

    The reality is that younger upper-middle class voters are trending Democrat. The “soccer-mom” communities are no longer Republicans. Yes, in some areas of the State, it is becoming more red but those areas are old blue-collar democrats that are switching over to Republican. In the long run, that will not be enough to stop the changing demographics in the rest of the Commonwealth. Just take a look at Virginia for instance.

    Yes, Republicans will have some victorious here and there but over time the trend will be more and more blue unless it figures out how to appeal to Gen Y and Z.

    1. Years ago, the GOP in Delco made a grave error when they opposed changing the county home rule charter to provide a guaranteed a seat for the minority party on council. So now they have no representation at all. John McClure must be turning in his grave.

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