HD-163: PA House Majority Rides On Outcome

Heather Boyd, Katie Ford in HD-163 Special Election

In a small corner of southeastern Pennsylvania sits House District 163.

HD-163 includes the Delaware County municipalities of Aldan, Clifton Heights, Collingdale, and parts of Darby and Upper Darby Townships.

There are a little more than 43,000 voters in the District and it will be up to them to determine if Democrats continue to hold the majority in the Pennsylvania House.

No disrespect intended to HD-108, where Mike Stender (R), Trevor Finn (D) and Elijah Scretchling (L) will square off in another special election on May 16, but that seat has been comfortably in GOP hands since 1972.

HD-163 is a different story.

Mike Zabel became the first Democrat to win the District since 1979 with his 2018 victory, defeating incumbent Jamie Santora, 53%-47%. He increased his vote total to 60.3 percent in 2020 and 64.8% last November in winning reelection.

Following allegations of sexual harassment, he resigned his seat in March. Republicans now see an opportunity to flip their 102-101 minority in the other direction.

The GOP is turning to Katie Ford to win back the 163rd but also the majority, while Democrats put forward Heather BoydAlfe Goodwin is also a candidate in the race, representing the Libertarian Party.

Ford is a lifelong resident of Upper Darby Township. She joined the Army Reserves after graduation from high school and received military training as a combat medic. A bachelors’ recipient from Penn State and holding a masters’ degree from Arizona State University, Ford has served as a behavioral therapist and works with children with developmental delays.

Her priorities include adequate funding for education and for police and police training.

“Given the numerous scandals in our local community related to our elected officials — ranging from a mayor who has mismanaged taxpayer dollars and was arrested to a state representative who resigned following accusations of sexual harassment — I will work to restore integrity in our state and local government,” Ford said in a statement.

Ford has been endorsed by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber PAC and the NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) PA PAC.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube 

Boyd, a resident of Drexel Hill, has worked as Chief of Staff to Rep. Leanne Krueger (D-) and as District Director and Senior Advisor for Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (D-05). A former member of the Upper Darby School Board, she says she will fight for laws and budgets that serve the district and will be an advocate for every resident who seeks services from the state of Pennsylvania.

“As a former teacher and local mom, I am running to make sure that every person and family in our district gets the resources and representation they deserve,” said Boyd. “I will work tirelessly to make sure residents of the 163rd district have a seat at the table in Harrisburg.”

She has received the endorsement of the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses & Allied Professionals, as well as GIFFORDS, the gun safety organization, EMILYs List, and Planned Parenthood PA PAC.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Goodwin, a resident of Upper Darby, has worked as a police officer, army chaplain and ordained minister. An Army veteran, she received a bachelor’s degree from Thomas Edison State University in 2006 and a graduate degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in 2010. Goodwin received just 1.6% of the vote in the 2022 general election that was won by Zabel.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Democrats outnumber Republicans among registered voters with a 52.8 percent plurality, while the GOP has 34.2 percent of the 43,185 signed up to vote in the May 16 special election.

13 Responses

  1. Heather Boyd played a pivitol role in covering up Zabel’s sexual harassment of women. She knew in 2019 but endorsed him for reelection in 2020 & 2022, while simultaneously testifying against Daylin Leach for sexual harassment in 2020.

    1. No she didn’t. Andi Perez went to the House Ethics Committee and they wouldn’t take her complaint. Andi then went to Heather to get help changing the rules, but asked her to keep her information confidential. Heather never supported Mike Zabel again and even tried to help primary him.

      1. She knew about Colleen Kennedy in 2019. Perez was the second one she knew about. Boyd is pictured campaigning for Zabel in September 2022 on the Upper Dary Dems page.

      2. This storyline about asking Heather to change the rules – what rules? The House Rules? While Heather was a Delco political boss? That’s quite a story. I’ve never heard of someone going to their local politico to change the House Rules. It’s really hard to believe that.

        And….we are supposed to believe that she tried and failed to get someone to primary Zabel? Why didn’t she primary Zabel? She’s running for the office now – if she felt so strongly that Zabel should have been ousted she certainly could have run against him…

    2. Heather Boyd never covered anything up. She did what she was asking by the accuser to do. The accuser is do upset that Katie Ford is twisting this to her advantage. Women’s rights are going to be crippled with Katie Ford, the proud Trump supporter.

  2. So why didn’t you supply as much information about the Libertarian candidate as for the D and R?

    1. very little information was available online about/from the candidate.

  3. Dems 52 percent registration vs R’s 34 percent registration. Dems can’t win this race? Sad. Maybe Senate Dems couldn’t but this should be easily a win.

    1. Getting out the vote can be a challenge on primary days. Not all voters in HD 163 realize this is a critical race. I am supporting Heather Boyd and will be going about District 163, knocking on doors for her. Can’t take any race for granted!

      1. Yes I don’t think people realize how important it is that Heather Boyd wins. Scary

      2. Absolutely right! Women’s rights are going to go away with a win for Ford

  • Who are you voting for in the PA Supreme Court race?

    • Dan McCaffery (61%)
    • Carolyn Carluccio (37%)
    • Still undecided (2%)

    Total Voters: 344

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