Bringing an end to 150 years of uninterrupted Republican political control, the Democrats of Delaware County made history in this week’s elections by winning control of the Delaware County Council. The Democrats now occupy all five seats on the County Council. Delaware County was once considered an impenetrable stronghold of the local Republican machine, with candidates Monica Taylor, Elaine Schaefer, and Christine Reuther joining Councilmember Kevin Madden and Brian Zidek.
The County Council will be prioritizing de-privatizing the county’s for-profit prison, the only one in the state of Pennsylvania, and creating a county health department, as Delaware is the only county of its size in Pennsylvania without one. The Democrats now also hold control of the election board, which has long been accused of voter suppression, and can work to create a fair and accurate count in the 2020 census. The census will be a key factor in curbing partisan redistricting efforts, and ensuring the equitable provision of public services. The promise of redistributing community block grants based on need, not connections to the political machine, is also on the new legislative agenda.
Jack Stollsteimer defeated incumbent Katayoun Copeland by approximately 5,000 votes, the smallest margin of any of the countywide candidates. Stollsteimer will become the first Democratic District Attorney in Delaware County. Stollsteimer campaigned on de-privatizing the county prison, lowering charges for minor marijuana possession, and reforming the cash bail system.The races for the four open seats on the Court of Common Pleas and two seats on the Superior Court have yet to be called. Democrat Daniel McCaffery and Republican Megan McCarthy King, however, are projected to win the Superior Court judgeships, with Democrats Nusrat Rashid, Stephanie Klein, Kelly Eckel, and Rick Lowe predicted to sweep the Court of Common Pleas judgeships. If projections hold true, the blue wave sweeping Delaware County will continue into the court system.