Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Blue Wave Crashed in Chester County!

The 2019 Election Day results are in and the Blue Wave crashed down hard — delivering a blue tsunami to our local political scene.

Washington politics was evident in our local supervisor and school board races. So much for touting the mantra to vote for the person, not the party – it appears that if a candidate had a ‘D’ after their name, they prevailed, even if up against a seasoned Republican incumbent.

On the T/E School Board, two candidates from Region 1 were unopposed on the election ballot – Todd Kantorczyk (D) and Roberta Hotinski (D) – and both will remain on the school board. In Region 2, incumbent school board director Ed Sweeney (R) lost his seat but incumbent Michele Burger (D) won her re-election bid. Joining Burger on the school board is Democrat Stacy Stone. Although Independent candidate Doug Anestad did not win a seat on the school board in Region 2, it should be noted that he received an impressive 662 votes – and this was without a single campaign sign or political mailer!

Recently appointed Democrat Mary Garrett Itin (D) retains her Region 3 school board seat but former T/E School District administrator Sue Tiede (D) beat incumbent Kate Murphy (R).

History making news on the Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors – for the first time in the township’s 300+ year history, all elected supervisors will be Democrats. In District 1 (East) recently appointed supervisor Julie Gosse (D) will remain on the Board of Supervisors as will incumbent At-Large supervisor Mark Freed (D). The other At-Large supervisor seat was won by Sharon Humble (D). In District 3 (West) the Democrat candidate K. S. Bhaskar was elected. Here is the list of candidates with the winners indicated in highlights.

Roberta Hotinski (D) Incumbent, unopposed
Todd Kantorczyk (D) Incumbent, unopposed

Doug Anestad (I)
Michele Burger (D) Incumbent
Stacy Stone (D)
Ed Sweeney (R) Incumbent

Mary Garrett Itin (D)opposed by Nicholas Lee (R)
Incumbent Kate Murphy (R) opposed by Sue Tiede (D)

Julie Gosse (D)
Raffi Terzian (R)

Mark Freed (D)
Sharon Humble (D)
Gina Mazzulla (R)
Liz Mercogliano (R)

K. S. Bhaskar (D)
Peter DiLullo (R)

Thank you to all the candidates and congratulations to those who won. Although the blue wave crashed and the Democrats swept the local supervisor and school board elections, it is important for our elected officials to remember they represent ALL the residents, regardless of party affiliation.

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  1. Registered D here who voted for Mr Anestad and Mr Sweeney. Oh well.That fella in DC is not helping out the R’s anywhere around here.

  2. Pattye,

    Thank-you. You are exactly what this District needs, now more than ever. Keep up the good work!

    Ed and Kate, thank-you! You have done an excellent job standing up for the rights and interests of taxpayers, students and parents. We will miss you, the District will miss you, whether they know it or not.

    I hope to see all of you at meetings, especially you Doug, you’re the best!

  3. Wow, “so much for….” What a tilted commentary. So voting for a Democrat is somehow not a good thing over a “seasoned Republican”? Maybe the seasoned incumbents weren’t representing all the the residents. Thanks to all who have the guts to run in this area, it was never representative of all who live here. I never miss a vote and finally it feels counted.

    1. The votes of Ed Sweeney and Kate Murphy kept the tax increase at 3.91% this year — the proposed increase was 6.1% and it remained there for 6 months. For me, fiscal responsibility is the most important issue facing the school district. As an example — the District’s $1.2 million accounting error remains an open issue. We knew where Ed and Kate stood on this issue; they were asking the important questions and requiring answers from the administration. Will the inexperienced new board members do the same for us?

  4. I’m dismayed that 99% of Chester County voters voted a ‘Straight Ticket’, ie Straight Democrat or Straight Republican. What good are qualifications if a candidate belongs to the ‘wrong’ Party?

  5. All school board directors and Tredyffrin supervisors are now Ds. For years, the complaint was that the boards were all Rs. The school board will now have 3 former teachers and a former school administrator. The teachers contract is up in 2020, fo you honestly believe that these 4 board members are going to come down on the side of the taxpayer? But since they are all Ds, that’s all that matters right. Yeah, every vote matters and you get what your voted for.

  6. I couldn’t agree more…anyone who votes a straight ticket is a wasted vote…D or R. Honestly it’s an embarrassment…take the time and make the investment to become an informed voter. In this case ignorance won out, and yes, you will get exactly what you asked for…unfortunately we will all pay the price. Ed Sweeney should have won in a landslide, and I am fairly confident anyone who took the time to listen would have come to the same conclusion. To be transparent I am a registered R, but cast several votes on the ballot for D or I on Tuesday throughout the state and local. I have been in this Township for over 25 years now and am pretty much ready to give up on the local politics at this point…for whatever reason an area that claims such sophistication and intellect just doesn’t seem to get it.

    1. Fran,

      Agree. I’m a R. I voted vote R Kate Murphy and R Nick Lee for School Board. I would have voted for Ed Sweeney and Doug Anestad, Neal Colligan, and Ray and Carol Clarke and yes, I would have even voted for Keith Knauss if he lived here and was a candidate, if that were an option for me. These are the people who should be on our Board. People who are experienced and skilled in Budgets, and people who would represent the people, rather than protecting and shielding over paid Administrators and teachers from their bad acts and really bad behavior.

      I voted for D Sondergaard for judge, and R Meghan King for judge because I know both and understand who they are and they operate. I voted for Easttown Supervisor D Michael Wacy. I voted for R Michelle Kichline for County Commissioner. (Is she the only R to win a race in PA?)

      Voters have no idea what goes on. It’s really up to the few who do know to educate those who don’t know. It’s interesting to me that every citizen I educated on what really goes on in the schools voted for Kate Murphy. I’m one person. It’s difficult for people, especially those with young children to make it to meetings. I appreciate Scott Dorsey and the Board for changing the meeting times to evenings and from my experience more people come but people have to educate themselves on the mechanics of Board operations, not just the one issue they’re interested in, like the construction of a parking lot. The Administration treats everyone like they’re treating the neighborhood citizens where they want to construct the parking lot: with very little regard, no consideration, brute force and a just push it through mentality any way they can using underhanded, sneaky tactics like applying Red Bull’s eye marks people can’t see from the street on trees they’re going to chop down without community consideration simply because they want a multi million dollar SEPARATE parking lot for staff. It’s is ridiculous. This is SOP for them and no one cares until it happens to them.

      All you who understand how it works because you’ve experienced the cruelty, the small, ( well not so small) petty tactics and disrespectful way they operate and treat tax paying citizens: RUN FOR OFFICE……Stop this Administrator Madness. Educate your friends and neighbors.

  7. The movement of Chester County (and Montgomery which is now majorette Democratic for the first time since the Civil War. It’s a movement including active, involved suburban women, greater diversity, plus some amount of the national climate. We need to give the newly elected opportunity to take control instead of immediately shouting them all down. Not all was so rosy when the country and township was all Repubs.

    1. You’re right!

      And I’ve talked to them. They have NO IDEA how things REALLY work.

      The D’s are very organized. They sent out text messages the night before the Tuesday vote reminding members to vote.

      They vote but they have no idea who or what they’re voting for.

  8. In my voting precinct of Tredyffrin West 5, 68% of Democrats voted straight ticket. 38% of Republicans voted straight ticket. That means the majority of Republicans like me split our vote. That also means that I expect the Democrats who were elected to be Supervisors to be fiscally responsible when making decisions on development. Take the long view on costs to taxpayers. For the School Board, it appears that you have friends and maybe family members who are school teachers or administrators. Keep in mind that many of them are making six-figure salaries with extremely generous health care and retirement packages. They are unlikely to quit their jobs or walk a picket line if you hold down the increases in the next negotiations. Remember the taxpayers, too! Republicans have a concern for increasing taxes in the DNA. Wishing you much success in your endeavors. We all appreciate Pattye Benson’s vigilance.

  9. Inexperience doesn’t mean new board members will not do their job, and hopefully will consider what is best for our school district. I spent many years as a an involved parent, and still follow what the board does. I don’t agree with many of their decisions, not always about finances. The accounting error happened how? My job is to be an informed voter, and since less than half our district votes, and will continue to do this. The bashing and misinformation pre election doesn’t help. I’d like to think that we are all “independent” thinkers regardless of party.

  10. I would have voted for Doug Anestad and Ed Sweeney if I could have. I voted for Michele Kichline.
    I registered D to vote in the primaries when the choice was Obama/Clinton. I have been very close to going back to I ever since.
    I want to vote for (or against) people, not platforms. I am sick of this fiction that a two-party system serves the best needs of the electorate. I would be delighted if some (or all) elected candidates changed their affiliation to I!

  11. The real percentage is about 54.8%.

    We see 76,328 people voted straight party (the numerator). The webpage does not show how many people actually voted BUT the District Attorney race gives us a good estimate of the denominator because you could only once and that race saw 139,260 total votes.

    Also you cannot fully deduce the party affiliation of a straight D or R voter for certain. I know plenty of RINOs who vote D all the way. Time was they felt they needed to be registered R for professional or social reasons.

  12. Here’s the Math for Easttown 1 Precinct 195

    Sue Tiede received 43.53% of the vote or 363 total votes.

    Kate Murphy received 56.47% of the vote or 471 total votes.

    There are 8 Precincts in Easttown Township.

    Kate Murphy lost to Administrstor Sue Tiede (employed by our Solicitor Ken Roos as recently as September) by less than 200 votes.

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