PA Dem Party

June 16, 2018
Mercury News
Chester County Democrats, Republicans elect leaders

Former Chester County Democratic Chairman Brian McGinnis (right) hands over gavel to newly elected Chairman Dick Bingham.
Former Chester County Democratic Chairman Brian McGinnis (right) hands over gavel to newly elected Chairman Dick Bingham. Submitted photo
Chester County GOP Chairman Val DiGiorgio.
Chester County GOP Chairman Val DiGiorgio.Submitted Photo

West Chester >> Members of Chester County’s two major political parties chose the candidates who will lead them into the upcoming midterm elections, choices that come as the gap between the majority and minority parties continues to close.

Members of the Chester County Democratic Committee elected a slate of candidates led by retired DuPont chemist Dick Bingham to succeed outgoing Chairman Brian McGinnis.

Bingham and his three running mates for the executive committee topped a slate of candidates led by the party’s vice chairwoman Lani Frank at the committee’s reorganization convention held at Stetson Middle School in Westtown.

Chester County Republicans returned Chairman Val DiGiorgio to the leadership position he has held since 2011. DiGiorgio, an attorney in private practice with the Malvern firm of Stradley Ronon who lives in West Whiteland, also serves as chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Committee.

DiGiorgio ran unopposed at the party’s reorganization event, held at Fugett Middle School in East Goshen.

Bingham, an East Marlborough resident who has led a regional group of Democrats in the Kennett Square area, laid out his vision for the party in his nominating speech. “Our goal is to help every one of our 228 precincts become a voter turnout powerhouse,” he said in a press release. “Electing Democrats in Chester County will be the norm, never again the exception.”

The party is coming off one of its most historically successful campaign seasons, as it elected four women to county Row Offices — a sweep — in 2017. In the 2016 presidential election, the county chose Democrat Hillary Clinton over Republican Donald Trump by more than 25,000 votes, even as Trump was on his way to winning the state and the overall election.

Overall, the GOP’s traditional edge in party registration in the county has continued to drop since the beginning of the 21st century. In May 2017, the GOP had 151,653 registered voters and the Democrats 132,831. According to the Pennsylvania State Department, as of June 11 there were 151,121 Republicans registered in the county, compared with 135,974 Democrats, closing the gap to 15,147 voters and showing a pick up of 3,143 new voters versus the GOP’s loss of 500 voters.

Even though Trump is not on the ballot for November, Bingham said he anticipates that many of the elections or state and national office that county voters will be asked to decide may revolve around his presidency.

“He certainly is a very polarizing figure,” he said. “I think his presence will bring a lot of voters to our side.

The local Democrats are promoting a full slate of candidates for the two state Senate and nine state House of Representatives seats up for election, as well as a well-funded and motivated candidate for the newly reformed 6th Congressional District, Chrissy Houlahan of Easttown, a district that covers the entire county, plus areas of lower Berks County. Incumbent Gov. Tom Wolf and U.S. Senator Bob Casey are also seeking re-election.

The others elected as part of Bingham’s slate include Marsha Peltz of Malvern for vice chairwoman; Nick Allen of West Chester for secretary; and MaryAnn Piccioni of Tredyffrin for treasurer.

“I am proud to hand over my gavel to Dick,” said outgoing McGinnis, who had supported Bingham over Frank for the seat. Bingham said he expected that Frank, a longtime campaign organizer and party activist, would continue to work for the party.

“Lani and I have always worked well together,” he said. “Obviously we both wanted to win, ad worked hard to get there. But I hope Lani will continue to work with us.”

On the GOP side, in addition to returning DiGiorgio to his seat the committee members in attendance elected Steve Sansone as executive vice chairman, Barb Proto as vice chairwoman, curt Norcini as treasurer, Joe Toner as financial secretary, Robin Marcello as secretary, and Kate Collins as assistant secretary.

In his speech to the gathered committee, DiGiorgio said the committee would “work diligently to return our house delegation to Harrisburg. Our representatives have held the line against the governor’s repeated tax increase attempts. Reps. Warren Kampf (of Tredyffrin) and Becky Corbin (of East Brandywine) have been leaders in the House, and I am eager for them to be joined by our esteemed youth movement of candidates such as Rep. Eric Roe, Amber Little-Turner in the 74th and Nick Deminski in the 156th.”

“As I have often said, when this party is united, we cannot be defeated,” DiGiorgio was quoted as telling the committee.

The committee members also heard from Greg McCauley, candidate for the 6th Congressional District, who was nominated in May after incumbent U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello of West Goshen announced he would not seek re-election. McCauley, of Kennett, spoke on the need to restore fiscal responsibility to Washington, D.C., and how his experience as a tax attorney has prepared him to address issues such as the national debt and student loan funding, according to the release.    Source

June 8, 2018
DLN
Dick Bingham running to lead Chesco Dems on June 13 ballot

A Ph.D. in organic chemistry with years of community service, Dick Bingham is one of two candidates vying to lead Chester County Democrats through the 2018 Midterms and into a blue wave in the next four years.

Bingham, a retired DuPont chemist of Kennett Square and chair of the Chester County Democratic Committee (CCDC) Zone Leader Caucus, is a candidate for June 13’s election of the next county chair. Joining him as his candidate for vice chair is Marsha Peltz of Malvern, an award-winning publicist and Zone Leader of East Whiteland/Charlestown Dems.

With the retirement of Chester County Democratic Committee Chair Brain McGinnis after a highly successful four-year term, a Reorganization Meeting is set for Stetson Middle School at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13. Only newly elected Democratic Committee Persons may vote for party leadership.

The entire Team Bingham slate includes incumbent David Rhoads for Secretary and Easttown Zone Leader MaryAnn Piccioni for Treasurer. All four candidates have extensive hometown, county and regional political experience.

As a member of CCDC’s five-member Executive Board, Bingham witnessed the 2016 blistering defeats and 2017 historic county Row Office wins. His philosophy is a simple one: to spearhead communications that motivate; voters who vote and candidates who win. To succeed in the 2018 Midterms and beyond, Bingham envisions the county committee as “fundamentally a bottom-up organization where our zones and our Committee People are our most important resource.”

Coming from a corporate background where team unity breeds success, he reminds the county membership, “it will not be my role to do everything; it will be my role to make sure everything gets done.”

Endorsements for Bingham include newly elected Chester County Treasurer Patricia Maisano. “Never have we been in better position to win it all. I believe Dick Bingham and his team can calmly and effectively, with dignity and purpose, take us to the next level.”

With an eye on engaging more young voters, Bingham was endorsed by Chester County Young Democrats Chair Hans Van Mol. “‘Dick Bingham is the type of leader we need to continue the historical strides Democrats are making in Chester County. His solid organizational development background and strong desire to assemble cohesive, results-driven teams will guarantee a unified CCDC. As Chair of the Chester County Young Democrats, I know how important it is that young Dems feel heard, valued and included. We look for a visionary who is willing to attempt new ideas and to listen and value all input. Dick Bingham will be that kind of Chairman, and I’m proud to endorse him.”

Chester County’s diverse Democratic base is slowly making an impact. Bingham and his team witnessed last week the swearing in of the first Muslim woman to an elected office in Coatesville. Khadijah Al-Amin took her place on Coatesville City Council as Chairman McGinnis observed, “We are breaking down barriers that few thought could be broken down.”

Bingham, with his four-person slate, hopes to continue to win seats from school board to the state House and in 2020, the White House. They are ready to work hard to turn Chester County blue.   Source

March 8, 2018
DLN
Lani Frank running for Chesco Dem chair

Lani Frank, vice chair of the Chester County Democratic Committee (CCDC), has announced her candidacy for CCDC Chair. The election, to be held in June, will be decided by Chester County Democratic committee people.

A 19-year resident of Chester County, Frank became politically engaged after the controversial 2000 presidential election result in favor of George W. Bush over Al Gore. Frank said she knew she had to get involved to make sure the next president was not chosen by the Supreme Court. She jumped in with both feet, becoming a volunteer for local candidates and, in 2002, a committee person in Easttown. Frank learned the ropes from veterans of political campaigns and worked her way up to zone leader, eventually serving as campaign manager for the 2006 and 2008 winning campaigns of former state Rep. Barbara McIlvaine Smith, D-156; West Chester Mayor Carolyn Comitta in 2009; and Comitta’s subsequent campaign for state rep in the 156th District in 2016. Frank was instrumental in the effort to switch Chester County ballots from the punch card to the current optical scan paper ballot. Frank ran for register of wills in 2015 and currently serves in her second term on the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee, for which she is Progressive Caucus chair. Frank was an integral part of the leadership supporting the 2017 Democratic sweep of the four row office positions and was a senior advisor for a candidate who ran and won as the first Democrat elected to the East Goshen Board of Supervisors. Frank is a regular participant at local protests in opposition to: war, gerrymandering, and U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello, R-6. She also advocates for commonsense gun reform and pipeline safety.

As CCDC chair, Frank said she will bring the strength of her campaigning skills to forge a clear path for winning elections in 2018 and beyond. Frank believes in collaborative leadership, and that “a good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit,” Arnold H. Glasow (1905-1998). She said she will never ask anyone to do what she isn’t willing to do herself and has participated in a wide range of political activities — from stuffing envelopes to running for office. Inspiring others to do their best is how Frank will lead CCDC to prove that the wins of 2017 were not flukes, she said.

Frank believes in dealing with things and people head on. She prides herself on being honest and forthright and believes that people respond well to others when they know where they stand. She said is very approachable and has mentored many newly involved CCDC members into positions of leadership. Frank has the confidence of many local leaders and elected officials and believes that will be instrumental in helping the party ride the anticipated new blue wave to victory this year.

To match her activist credentials, Frank has selected Bill Phifer, a resident of East Bradford, and chair of the CCDC Communications Committee, to run as her vice chair, and believes their partnership will be second to none. Phifer is a well-respected member of CCDC and former East Bradford zone leader. He is a retired HP Fellow with an MBA degree and brings a Fortune 500 corporate-level approach that emphasizes accountability, rigorous processes, performance measurement and robust communication. Frank and Phifer are running on the pledge of “honesty, leadership and results.”    Source

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