By Ali Carey and Keegan Gibson
Just minutes after the Legislative Reapportionment Commission confirmed the final version of the new Pa. House map in a 4-1 vote Monday afternoon, Democratic Caln Township Commissioner Joshua Young pounced on the opportunity to run for the new, open, Coatesville-based 45th district.
The newly approved plan eliminates a state Senate seat and two House districts in the Pittsburgh area. The plan also creates a new 45th district, which will include parts of Chester County including the City of Coatesville, the Townships of Caln, East Caln, East Fallowfield, Sadsbury and Valley and the Boroughs of Downingtown, Modena, Parkersburg and South Coatsville.
A self described “pragmatic progressive Democrat,” Young, 30, is a twice elected Caln commissioner and Chairman of the Council of Trustees or Slippery Rock University. Young is also the youngest Caln Township Commissioner to date and in 2010, Caln made PoliticsPA’s list of Pennsylvania’s Rising Stars: 30 Under 30.
In a statement, Young said:
“Many of my constituents have encouraged me to run for state representative because I have fought for working families while never raising property taxes. After many weeks of prayer and thoughtful discussion with my family and friends, I have decided to seek the Democratic nomination for the Pennsylvania State Legislature.”
He’s not the first candidate top pop up in recent days. Chris Dietz, the President of Millersburg Borough Council, is up and running in the 104th district of Rep. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin). In the GOP wave of 2010, Helm kept her seat but just 300 votes.
“Years of public service in municipal government have equipped me with the experience and vigor to advocate for my fellow residents of the 104th,” Dietz said in a statement. “At a time when state government should be helping the citizens that elected them, our legislature is more disconnected than ever from the common citizen.”
And Helm will have company in the Reprimary. Jenna Lewis, an attorney in the Dauphin County District Attorney’s office and a former aide to Pa. Rep. Ron Marsico told Pa. Society attendees this weekend that she would challenge the three-term incumbent.
Even in the 45th district where Young is running, two other men have signaled an interest. Mayor Josh Maxwell of Downingtown is taking a look at a bid, according to Chester County Democratic sources.
And Barry Cassidy, 60, announced Monday. He works for real estate developer Manny DeMutis as the project manager of the Phoenixville Steel Site redevelopment, and serves as Director of the Main Street Community Development Corporation in Phoenixville.
“When I looked at the boundary of the 45th district I quickly realized that this district was the Route 30 corridor. I have worked corridors doing commercial and housing development for the last 40 years and it seemed to be a perfect fit,” he said in a statement. “After discussions with my wife concerning the implications on our family we have decided move forward and start the formation of a committee to seek to represent the 45th district.”