Know the Candidates: County Council and District Attorney
The May 21 primary election will be the opening round in this year’s historic contest for control of Delaware County council, when Democrats will have a fighting chance to gain control of council for the first time in the county’s history.
Republicans now hold a 3-2 edge on the council, but all three Republican seats will be up for grabs in the November general election, as chair John McBlain and vice-chair Colleen Morrone have reached their term limits and Michael Culp will not seek a second term. Democrats now hold a voter registration edge over Republicans in the county and swept the 2017 county elections. They see the time as ripe to win additional council seats and implement their reform plans, including open competitive bidding and job posting as well as ending private, profit-making control of the county prison.
Voters will cast ballots for a host of other state, county, and local positions, including Delaware County District Attorney. Both Republican incumbent Katayoun Copeland and Democrat Jack Stollsteimer are running unopposed for DA. The primary will also feature a hotly contested race for four seats on the county Court of Common Pleas, with both Democratic and Republican candidates appearing both parties’ ballots. The Swarthmorean will cover those races in next week’s issue.
County Council Candidates
Democratic candidates for county council are Christine Reuther, Elaine Paul Schaefer, and Monica Taylor.
Reuther, of Wallingford, is a law partner at McCausland Keen & Buckman in Radnor. She has served as Nether Providence township commissioner and on planning, zoning, and sewer boards; she is a member of the Central Delco (sewer) Authority. She chaired Joanne Phillips’ successful 2017 campaign for county controller
Schaefer, of Radnor, is executive director of Schuylkill River Greenways and a co-founder of the Radnor Conservancy. She served eight years on the Radnor Township Board of Commissioners, including three as president. She ran unsuccessfully for the Penna. House of Representatives in 2017.
Taylor, of Upper Darby, is associate professor of kinesiology at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and on the advisory board of the university’s Substance Use Disorder Institute. She is a member of the Upper Darby School Board and co-chair of its finance and operations committee.
Republican candidates for county council are Kelly Colvin, Michael Morgan, and Jim Raith.
Colvin is associate director of Temple University’s Center on Regional Politics and is a former assistant to U.S. Rep Curt Weldon and U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum. An autism activist, she led a successful community effort to build playground for children with autism.
Morgan is a former consultant for Andersen Consulting/Accenture and is an active volunteer and board member. He chairs the Foundation of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Board of Trustees and the Parents’ Association of Episcopal Academy.
Raith, who has chaired the Thornbury Township board of supervisors since 2006, owns E. J. Raith Mechanical Inc. He chairs the Delaware County Chapter of the American Red Cross and is on the boards of Rocky Run YMCA and Cheyney University.
District Attorney Candidates
For District Attorney, the candidates are incumbent Republican Katayoun Copeland and Democrat Jack Stollsteimer.
Copeland was appointed District Attorney in January 2017 to complete Jack Whelan’s unexpired term when he became a Common Pleas judge. She is a former Delaware County assistant DA and a former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where she served on the Narcotics and Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.
Stollsteimer, deputy state treasurer for consumer programs, helped establish state-seeded college savings accounts for children at birth or adoption and a savings program for people with disabilities. In former positions with the U.S. Department of Justice and as assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia he headed gun violence reduction initiatives.