Candidates May 15 2018


Bob Casey (incumbent; endorsed by CCDC)
Bob Casey was raised to believe that “all public service is a trust, given in faith and accepted in honor,” and he has brought that to every office he has held, including Pennsylvania Auditor General, State Treasurer, and U.S. Senator. In Harrisburg, Bob Casey focused on making government more accountable and responsive to the needs of Pennsylvanians.Since becoming in 2006 the first Pennsylvania Democrat elected to a full Senate term since 1962, he has worked to create family-sustaining jobs and foster financial security for Pennsylvania families; to protect our children and invest in their futures; to ensure safety at home and respect for America abroad; to promote honesty and accountability in government; to preserve the dignity of the vulnerable of all ages; and to advocate for his constituents and help them solve problems they face. He is a voice for those who are threatened by Congressional Republicans’ recent attempts to give tax cuts to the ultra-rich and to undermine Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. See his many other important legislative priorities here.
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Tom Wolf (incumbent; endorsed by CCDC)
Besides having more than quintupled the size of his family business, the Wolf Organization, a distributor of lumber and other building products, Governor Wolf has a long record of public service As Secretary of Revenue in Governor Rendell’s cabinet, he instituted reforms that grew and strengthened the state lottery and laid the foundation for millions of dollars in additional benefits for seniors. He has chaired York County United Way, the York County Community Foundation, and the York College Board of Trustees. He has also been active in the York Jewish Community Center, the Memorial Hospital of York, and WITF, a regional public television system. In 2014 he carried Chester County by some 5,600 votes on his way to being elected Governor by the very substantial margin of almost 10%. In office, Tom has fought to change Harrisburg. He has prohibited administration employees from accepting gifts from lobbyists, reformed legal contracting to end pay to play, restored the one billion dollar cut to education made in the previous administration, expanded Medicaid, given more than 50,000 seniors the opportunity to age in their homes, and made Pennsylvania a national leader in fighting the opioid and heroin epidemic.
web site: official, campaign
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Nina Ahmad

Nina is a scientist, women’s rights advocate, and first-generation Bangladeshi American. She is running as the progressive voice that Pennsylvania needs to take on Donald Trump. Nina came to United States at twenty-one. She earned her Ph.D from UPenn and achieved success as a molecular biologist and entrepreneur. As President of the Philadelphia NOW, Nina led a fight to fire three DA’s officer prosecutors who e-mailed pornographic images. She has fought workplace discrimination and harassment that undermines women and people of color. Nina was an organizer for Howard Dean’s insurgent presidential campaign in 2004 and a national delegate for Barack Obama. She has recruited and trained candidates to run as local committee people. She has served as Deputy Mayor for Public Engagement under Mayor Jim Kenney, overseeing the Commission for Women, the Office of Black Male Engagement, and the Youth Commission. Nina and her husband have lived in Pennsylvania for over 30 years and have two daughters.

Kathi Cozzone (endorsed by CCDC)

Kathi Cozzone was sworn in as Chester County Commissioner on January 6, 2008 and was re-elected to office on November 8, 2011 and November 3rd, 2015. She has served as Vice Chair of the Board since 2011.  Her most recent role in the private sector was a Corporate Business manager at Rodale Inc. in Emmaus, PA. In 2010, she graduated from the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania’s Academy for Excellence in County Government. In 2017, she was elected First Vice President of CCAP, after having served as Second Vice President the preceding year.
John Fetterman
John grew up in York and attended Albright College, where he played on the football team. In the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, mentoring a boy whose parents died of AIDS motivated John to join AmeriCorps, serving in Pittsburgh’s historic Hill District. He earned a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, then started a GED program in Braddock PA. In 2005, encouraged by his students, John ran successfully for mayor. As mayor, John has applied a hands-on approach to rebuild his community and attract new residents and jobs. In 2016, he ran for U.S. Senate to champion all struggling towns. An outsider, he earned 20% of the vote in a 4-way primary, emerging as a progressive voice for working people on issues like inequality, racial justice, and ending the failed war on drugs.
Ray Sosa
Ray has over 20 years of experience in the private sector providing support and advice to big and small companies, and he wants to use that experience to create a more efficient and effective government in Pennsylvania. For too long, the powers and resources of the Lieutenant Governor’s office have been underutilized, and even though Ray is a political outsider, he is uniquely qualified to serve in these positions because Ray was appointed by three different U.S. Governors to lead districts in coordinating Emergency Management and Response; Ray was Chairman of the Governor’s Human Rights Advocacy Committee for 10 years, fighting for hospitals, juveniles justice centers, foster care homes, and nursing homes. For 10 years, Ray provided legislative policy support for three governors. Ray wants to bring the spirit of statesmanship back to Pennsylvania, so that every Pennsylvanian can be confident that we are working tirelessly for them.
Mike Stack (incumbent)
Mike Stack served four terms in the State Senate representing the 5th district in Northeast Philadelphia, and was the Democratic Chair of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. He is a graduate of LaSalle College High School and LaSalle University and earned his law degree from Villanova University Law School in 1992. He has been a Fellow of The University of Pennsylvania Leadership Academy of the Fels Institute of Government, member of the Board of Trustees of Temple University and of the Holocaust Awareness Museum, and member of the Board of Directors of Self-Help Movement Inc. He is a member of the Democratic State Committee. Mike was elected as Lieutenant governor in 2014.
Chrissy Houlahan (endorsed by CCDC and Emily’s List)
Chrissy earned her engineering degree from Stanford with a ROTC scholarship and received her M.S. in Technology and Policy from MIT. She served three years active duty as a Captain in the US Air Force, and 13 years in the Reserves. She was founding COO of B-Lab (a nonprofit that promotes B Corporations and good business practices) and President and COO/CFO for Springboard Collaborative (a Philadelphia-based nonprofit focused on improving early childhood literacy in underserved communities country-wide).

PA HOUSE, DISTRICT 156 (Birmingham, East Goshen, Thornbury, West Goshen North, West Chester, and Westtown)

Carolyn Comitta (incumbent; endorsed by CCDC and Emily’s List)
Two term Mayor of West Chester from 2010 – 2017, Carolyn earned her Master of Science in Education, Widener University. She continues to mentor to students and has organized the attendance of over 2000 local students at the annual Health and Environment Conference at the United Nations. She is Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Thomas Comitta Associates. She served on the West Chester Borough Council from 2006 – 2010.

PA HOUSE, DISTRICT 158 (Avondale, East Bradford, East Marlborough, London Britain, New Garden, Newlin, West Bradford, West Goshen (PART, Districts Middle and South), and West Marlborough)


Christina Sappey

Chris has lived in Chester County for 25 years and she and her husband have raised three kids here. She has worked for PA representatives Barb McIlvaine Smith and Carolyn Comitta and Senator Andy Dinniman for a total of 12 years. She now plans to serve in a different role: to represent her home, her neighbors and her community in Harrisburg. She wants to ensure that our economy and business environment are a foundation for growth; she wants our State to live within its means and be able to lend a hand to our neighbors in need. Chris finds herself in the majority of reasonableness and moderation, in the middle, to the left of the hard right and the right of the extreme left. Chris trusts women to make their own decisions about things that should be personal. She believes we should listen to one another, respect alternative positions, and discuss solutions to hard problems in a civil manner. Chris lives in West Bradford.


Bill Scott, incumbent, has been active in the Chester County Democratic Party since 1964. He has long years of service on both the County and State Committees and on their Executive Committees. Bill is now in his third term on the West Chester Borough Council and previously served a term as its President. He has participated in the campaigns of Democratic candidates in every election cycle and is a member of the Democratic State Committee. Bill has voted in 98 primary and general elections in a row.


Alex Teplyakov: Dedicated to electing Democrats at all levels of government, Alex Teplyakov works for the Pennsylvania State House and has worked on and managed numerous political campaigns. Alex believes strongly in grassroots activism and routinely canvasses and organizes to help local candidates and strengthen local party committees. On State Committee, Alex will fight for a progressive party platform and stronger support and more cohesive messaging to aid down-ballot candidates, while strengthening communication between the state and local party committees.
Lisa Longo, treasurer of the CCDC:  is a parent, financial and business consultant with a degree in Accounting. Lisa has had her own business and in 2015 was elected to the Phoenixville Area School Board, where she previously served on the Community Budget Advisory Committee. Her message of inclusion, diversity, and transparency has resonated with many people; she is often invited to speak on topics ranging from the political to sustainable living, and including business best practices, campaign management, education issues as well as community development.


Chris Pielli, incumbent:  Chris is proud and grateful to have served & supported Chester County the past 4 years as a member of the Democratic State Committee and to be part of the movement to turn Chester County permanently blue. As an attorney, Chris has worked as a Chester County public defender and is an arbiter for the Chester County Court of Common Pleas arbitration panel. He pledges to return Pennsylvania to the progressive state it should be and lead our county and commonwealth to a more fair and just future.  He serves as Chair of the West Goshen Board of Supervisors.


Barbara E. Cooper, incumbent: Barbara (Bunnie) Cooper is a leader in Chester County Democratic politics, and a trailblazer for women in the labor movement.          For 45 years, she has been active and engaged is advancing Democratic values and in giving her unwavering support to Democratic candidates up and down the ballot. Not only is Bunnie known throughout Southeast Pennsylvania, and around the state, as a tireless supporter of Democrats and Democratic causes, she is one of only a few women labor leaders in Pennsylvania, and well-respected within the organized labor community statewide.


Diane O’Dywer:  Diane has been a Democratic volunteer since 2004 & a Zone Leader for Central Chester County Democrats since 2011. She was a Team Leader for Lois Murphy for Congress 2006 & local co-Team Leader for Obama for America 2008. Diane was the local Canvass Director Hillary for America 2016 & is currently the Campaign Chair for Cozzone for PA 2018. She pledges to bring your concerns & a keen sense of fairness and responsibility in representing Chester County.


Elva Bankins Baxter: Dear Fellow Democrats:  It’s time for new leadership in our County and a more progressive agenda; one that fights for working people, immigrants…all the people of Chester County.  A leadership that is inclusive, gets things done, and represents our Democratic values is sorely needed now.  I am focused on a platform that gives all people a voice and opposed to legislation that favors one party or special interest groups.  It is why I am running for State Democratic Committee.


John Hellman III: John became a Precinct Committee Person in 2002 & has continued to serve including acting Zone Leader for the West Goshen, PA 156th District Leader, & 158th District Leader. In 2016, he was elected as a Sanders delegate to the DNC & has been part of many campaigns for Democrats for 18 years. A retired electrician, he is a member of the IBEW concerned about the attacks on working families and will fight for working people & the unions that stand for them.


Dennis McAndrews, Esquire: Dennis is a lifelong Democrat who has resided in Chester County for nearly 40 years. Dennis is an experienced attorney who regularly represents children and adults with disabilities and their families and has attained a national reputation in the fields of special education, special needs planning, and estate planning for families. Dennis is committed to progressive public policies, including universal health care, protection for the environment, reasonable/humane immigration policies, gun control legislation, and honesty and civility in government.


Christopher Kowerdovich: Christopher was a medic in the Pennsylvania National Guard and deployed to Iraq. He earned a degree in Organizational Leadership at Pennsylvania State University.  He is the Chair of the Young Democrats of America Veterans & Military Affairs Caucus.  He is running on 1) taking a bottom-up approach to listening to Democrats in Chester County 2) being present at every State Committee meeting to represent your concerns 3) proven leadership in the military, academics and the Democratic party


Kevin Houghton: Kevin has as an extensive history of political experience.  He went to New Hampshire in 2004 and 2008 to work on the primary campaigns for Howard Dean and Barack Obama.  He created the West Bradford Democrats and worked to merge with the East Bradford Democrats to become the Bradford Democrats. Kevin served as the Chair/Zone Leader of the Bradford Democrats for the past two years.  With nearly 1 Million more Democrats in the state than Republicans, Trump should not have won in 2016 and we should not have lost the State Supreme Court race in 2017. Kevin wants to work to bring PA back to being a Blue State.


Dave McLimans, incumbent:


Stephannie McLimans, incumbent
Lani Frank, incumbent: Lani is a life-long Democrat has been a voice in Chester County for 8 years. A two-term elected State Committee Member, Lani is the Vice Chair of the Chester County Democratic committee, chaired the 2014-2016 Progressive Caucus PA, and is currently a  Willistown Precinct committee person. Lani will continue to work tirelessly to steer the Democratic Party in a progressive direction.  Lani is endorsed by Admiral Joe Sestak.


Debra A Sulenski. : My name is Debbie Sulenski and I am running for change. I am a wife, mother, advocate, and activist. I love working with my community, whether for social justice or on the Barley Sheaf Players’ stage. I have lived in 6 states, from New York to Florida and I am running because I cannot stand by and watch our already great America sink under the weight of hatred and ignorance



Michele Vaughn:  Michele Vaughn serves as Regional Director for the Pennsylvania Federation of Democratic Women and the Chair of the Chester County Democratic Women’s Leadership Initiative (CCDWLI).  The organization was founded in 2015 to bring the issues that concern women, organized labor and working families to the forefront of the political process.  Michele is especially proud of CCDWLI’s support and role in the 2017 historic elections of our four Chester County Row Officials.  Michele would like to bring her experience leading CCDWLI to other counties across Pennsylvania by providing women an opportunity to be become engaged leaders in our communities, in the political process and in the Democratic party and Progressive movement.


Mary R LaSota:  Mary intends to carry the message of progressive values & an inclusive vision to the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee. A practicing attorney, Mary has been involved with the Sunrise Rotary, PA Bar Association & is a member of the Brandywine Conservatory. Knocking on thousands of doors during her successful  campaign for West Goshen Township Supervisor, she realized that her message of hope, new leadership and a fresh vision for Chester County was needed.
Hans Van Mol, incumbent: Hans is the next generation of leadership that Pennsylvania so desperately needs!   He believes the role of a good State Committee member, is to make your needs known in Harrisburg, and to bring both information and resources back down to the county level.  Hans ran for County Recorder of Deeds in 2015 and for State Representative in 2016.  A proud graduate of West Chester University and lifelong resident of Tredyffrin Township, he is the President of the Chester County Young Democrats and the State Secretary of the Pennsylvania Young Democrats.  Hans asks for your support so he may continue to advocate for Chester County Democrats in Harrisburg.