MEET YOUR 2023 DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES!

The 2023 election cycle has begun! Pennsylvania voters statewide will be asked to pick a new state Supreme Court justice as well as judges to sit on Superior and Commonwealth courts. These appellate courts set down highly consequential decisions about elections, school funding, and more. Further down the ballot are more judicial contests as well as municipal races for Easttown Township local offices as well as a TE school board race to represent Easttown. When they become available in October, check out our Sample Ballots highlighting our recommended candidates. 

Last Day to Register to Vote in the November Election: Oct 23
Last Day to Request Vote By Mail: Oct 31
Election Day: Nov 7 from 7AM to 8PM

PENNSYLVANIA STATE JUDICIAL DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES

SUPREME COURT

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is the state’s court of last resort. Seven justices serve on the Court and their job is to make the final judgment in interpreting Pennsylvania’s laws and Constitution. The Court has administrative authority over all aspects of Pennsylvania’s judicial system. As of February 2023, the seven-seat high court had a majority of four justices elected as Democrats. Two other justices were elected as Republicans. One seat is open following the death earlier this fall of Max Baer, who was chief justice. Baer died only months before he was to reach the mandatory retirement age of 75. Judicial elections in Pennsylvania occur in odd-numbered years to 10 year terms. They may hold an unlimited number of terms until they reach the mandatory retirement age. Supreme court judges are paid $215,037 annually as of January 2021. Supreme Court Democratic Candidates in Alpha OrderContested Primary for One Open Seat. Learn more about the Supreme Court candidates from the PA Spotlight Guide.

  • Daniel McCaffery – Dan McCaffery has served as a judge on the Pennsylvania Superior Court since 2020. Previously, he served as a judge on the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia. After serving on active duty with the First Cavalry Division, he was one of a few select soldiers chosen from the military to attend the prestigious United States Military Academy at West Point Prep School. Upon being honorably discharged from the Army, Judge McCaffery attended Temple University Law School on a veteran’s scholarship. In 1991, McCaffery became an Assistant District Attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. He quickly distinguished himself as a top-flight prosecutor assigned to the major trials unit, prosecuting over fifty jury trials and a thousand bench trials. McCaffery is currently the supervising judge for wiretaps and was selected by the Supreme Court to serve on the Court of Judicial Discipline. Endorsed by the Pennsylvania Democratic Party (PADEMS). Campaign Website


COMMONWEALTH COURT

The Pennsylvania  Commonwealth Court hears civil cases involving state or local government. It is the only court like it in the country. It not only hears appeals, but sometimes sits as a trial court in certain cases brought by or against the Commonwealth, such as a constitutional challenge to a state law or a tax dispute. The court is made up of nine judges who serve 10-year terms (beginning the January after their election and ending on the first Monday of the January 10 years later – only on even-numbered years). The court generally decides cases in three-judge panels and sits in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. The Commonwealth Court also functions as a trial court in some civil actions by or against the Commonwealth government and cases regarding statewide elections.The Supreme Court of the United States made it clear when it overturned Roe v. Wade – your rights will be decided on a state level. The Commonwealth Court is critical to protecting your rights to vote, organize in a union, access reproductive healthcare, and marry whom you please. These rights have been under attack by Republicans in Pennsylvania so it’s critically important to elect judges that will protect your rights. Commonwealth Court judges are paid $202,898 annually as of January 2021.  Learn more about the Commonwealth Court candidates from the PA Spotlight Guide.
  • MATTHEW WOLF – Judge Matt Wolf is the Supervising Civil Judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court. As Supervising Judge, he guided the court through the pandemic; he started the heralded eviction diversion program, and he has focused the court on equity and access to justice. Judge Wolf is currently in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, and served on active duty in Afghanistan in 2008. In country, he served as a Foreign Claims Officer and Rule of Law advisor to the Afghan National Police on legal matters. Since 2021, Judge Wolf has been working with the National Center for State Courts through a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts. He is the only Judge for Commonwealth Court in this election. In making changes to court policy, Judge Wolf listens to both sides of cases as well as all court stakeholders who should have a say in how the court is run. Endorsed by the Chester County Democratic Committee.  Campaign Link

SUPERIOR COURT

The Pennsylvania Superior Court is the appeals court for most citizens and businesses. This Court’s decisions have a significant impact on Pennsylvania’s economy and the quality of life of our citizens. Reviews most of the civil and criminal cases that are appealed from the Courts of Common Pleas in the state’s 67 counties. The court’s judges also review and decide on wiretapping applications presented by the state’s attorney general and district attorneys under Pennsylvania’s Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Control Act. It is one of the busiest intermediate appellate courts in the country. Superior Court judges are paid $202,898 annually as of January 2021. Learn more about the Superior Court candidates from the PA Spotlight Guide.
  • JILL BECK – Jill knows firsthand that justice is served only when every person – regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or income – has fair and equal access to the courts. She is running for the Pennsylvania Superior Court to ensure that justice in Pennsylvania truly is for ALL.  After graduating at the top of her class from Duquesne University School of Law, Jill chose to work for the nonprofit organization KidsVoice, before spending a decade on the Superior and Supreme Court where she drafted over 500 decisions of the very kind she will decide as Judge.  Jill currently resides with her husband, two young children, and rescue dog in Pittsburgh, where she is an active volunteer in her children’s classrooms and in her community. Jill currently works as an attorney for Blank Rome in the litigation group. Endorsed by the Pennsylvania Democratic PartyCampaign Website LinkCampaign Video
  • TIMIKA LANE – Judge Lane’s law career is defined by her dedication to serve her community. Early in her career, she served as a judicial law clerk and as a Certified Legal Intern with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office. Lane also represented indigent families involved in various matters as a Certified Child Advocate Attorney. She then went on to work as a major trial attorney for the Defender Association of Philadelphia where her primary duty was to litigate complex criminal jury and waiver trials for under served adults and juveniles in Philadelphia’s criminal justice system. Timika currently serves as chief legal counsel to State Senator and Democratic Whip Anthony H. Williams. She also served as the Democratic Executive Director for the Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee. In her role as legal counsel, Lane assesses the constitutionality of proposed and current legislation; provides legal advice and guidance regarding the legal implications of legislation, regulations, and administrative policies, and advises Pennsylvania Senators and staff on legislation presented for vote in Senate Committees. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Philadelphia Bar Association and has legal certifications as a child advocate and arbitrator. Endorsed by the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.  Campaign Website LinkCampaign Video

    COURT OF COMMON PLEAS

With over 400 judges across the state, the Court of Common Pleas is where most misdemeanor and all felony criminal cases are disposed of, where Orphan’s Court matters are addressed, and where larger civil cases are originated. Family law matters, such as custody, divorce, and support are also addressed at the primary level under the supervision of the Court of Common Pleas for a county. These courts hear criminal and civil cases, including those involving families and children, such as divorce, property division, alimony, child custody and support, paternity and protection orders. They also hear appeals from the lower-level Minor Courts. There are 13 Common Pleas Judges in Chester County. Common Plea judges are paid $197,119  annually as of January 2023. Below is a list of the Democratic Court of Common Pleas Court Candidates in Alpha Order. There are five open seats so PLEASE BE SURE TO VOTE FOR ALL FIVE OF THE FOLLOWING DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES. All have been endorsed by the Chester County Democratic Committee. 

    • SARAH BLACK – While maintaining full-time employment as a child support conciliator, Sarah Black attended Widener University School of Law at night. She also clerked for two civil firms specializing in personal injury and contractual litigation. Upon graduation, she worked as a family law sole practitioner. She has been a public defender in Pennsylvania for fourteen years, the last nine of which have been at the Chester County Public Defender’s Office. As a practicing trial attorney appearing before judges and juries, certified to defend death penalty cases, she appears in the courtroom daily providing zealous advocacy to marginalized populations. Sarah is heavily involved in community service projects in her hometown of West Chester, where she resides with her husband, Paul, and rescue dog, Jack. Campaign Website  ***ALERT – DO NOT CONFUSE REPUBLICAN DAVID BLACK WITH DEMOCRAT SARAH BLACK.  
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    • NICOLE FORZATO  – Judge Forzato is currently on the County Court of Common Pleas.  She was appointed by the Governor and overwhelmingly confirmed by the bipartisan Pennsylvania Senate, to fill the vacancy left when Judge Jacqueline Cody took senior status early.  Since Judge Forzato’s appointment to the Court of Common Pleas in 2022, she has presided over numerous matters in the criminal, civil, and orphans court divisions.Prior to taking the bench, Judge Forzato was the first woman to ever to serve as Chester County Solicitor, which is the chief legal officer of the County.  As the County Solicitor, she was responsible for overseeing all of the civil litigation impacting the County.  She also provided legal advice to Chester County Commissioners and their senior staff.  Before that, she worked alongside Governor Shapiro for eight years.  She was on his legal team when he was a County Commissioner, and then went with him to the Attorney General’s Office. Incumbent. Appointed by Governor Wolf in 2022. Easttown Township resident. Campaign Website
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    • TIP McCABE – Thomas (Tip) McCabe focused his law practice in Chester County, first as an Assistant Public Defender, and later as court appointed counsel for the indigent. As a private practitioner, he has handled matters ranging from civil litigation, landlord/tenant matters, guardianships, land use and municipal law, juvenile law, appellate law, and pro bono custody matters through the Chester County Bar Association’s Access to Justice Program. Thomas served as Solicitor for the Elk Township Zoning Hearing Board and as an Arbitration Panel Member deciding civil matters less than $50,000.00. He is Chair of CCBA Criminal Defense Section, and Co-Chair of CCBA Civil Litigation Section. Thomas wants to bring his broad legal experience, and Public Defender perspective to continue to serve the people of Chester County as Court of Common Pleas Judge. He lives in Newlin Township with his wife and two daughters. Campaign Website
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    • FREDDA MADDOX – With a legacy of serving the Chester County community, Sheriff Maddox has protected our families and has been a tireless advocate fighting for the legal rights of marginalized individuals for more than 25 years. Fredda has represented the accused and the accuser, the abused and the abuser, the privileged and the poor equally and provides a rare, balanced perspective of the court to provide the fairness, compassion and experience needed as a Judge.  Campaign Website
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    • DEBORAH RYAN – Deb Ryan has dedicated her entire 24-year career as an attorney to public service as a prosecutor, advocate for children, and as District Attorney. In 2019, she was elected as the first woman and first Democrat DA in our county’s history. Deb has successfully handled thousands of cases in the Court of Common Pleas including homicides, child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assaults. As a judge, she will be committed to the integrity of the courts, the protection of individual rights, and the due process of law.Endorsed by Chester County Fraternal Order for Police. Campaign Website

    EASTTOWN TOWNSHIP DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES

    BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

    Easttown Township, is governed by a five member Board of Supervisors. The Supervisors, who are all elected at large, serve staggered terms of six years with elections occurring in odd years (2021, 2023, 2025, etc.) The Board plays a crucial role in deciding issues of public safety, spending, growth management, zoning, roads and streets, code enforcement, environment and how to pay for it all. Learn more about Easttown Township Supervisors. Detailed information about how townships operate in Pennsylvania and the role of the Supervisors is available in the March 2018 Pennsylvania Township Supervisor’s Handbook. Though part-time, being a Township Supervisor requires a major commitment of time.  Board of Supervisors Democratic Candidates – Two Open Seats

    • SUSAN LeBOUTILLIER –  Susan is a successful business owner and longtime Easttown resident. She is dedicated to climate and sustainability initiatives, with a passion for educating and inspiring the community to create a positive impact on the environment. Susan presently owns her own garden center, LeBeau Gardens, in Downingtown. She has been a three-time Philadelphia Flower Show award winner, past board member of Jenkins Arboretum, volunteered at the polls as a greeter/poll watcher, and taught Sunday school at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Devon. Susan holds an M.B.A. from Temple University. In her spare time, Susan can be found on the pickle ball court at the Upper Main Line YMCA or throwing pottery in her shed. Endorsed by Easttown Township Democratic Committee (ETDC).
    • SEAN AXEL – Sean has been a teacher in the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District for 20 years and has lived in the Easttown community since 2006. He and his wife Jill have two college age sons who attended T/E schools through graduation from Conestoga High School. Sean is currently a 3rd grade teacher at Devon Elementary School taking on various roles within the school and the district. He also is the soccer coach for the 8th grade team at Valley Forge Middle School. Sean has served as Easttown Township auditor for the last six years. As a member of the community Sean has volunteered throughout the years as a coach for Berwyn Paoli Little League, Paoli Wildcats, and PALS cat rescue. Endorsed by Easttown Township Democratic Committee (ETDC). 

    AUDITOR

    Auditors are elected officials who serve staggered six-year terms. They are responsible for conducting the annual audit of township finances. As permitted by law (Section 917 of the Pennsylvania Second Class Township Code), the Board of Supervisors may contract with a certified or competent accountant or firm to conduct the audit, according to generally accepted principles of accounting. The Audits for the Easttown Township, Easttown Municipal Authority, and Easttown Library and Information Center are performed by Maillie, LLP. The elected auditors set the compensation, including paid time off, of any township supervisors that are employed by the township. Learn more about Easttown Township Auditors.  Auditor Democratic Candidates – One Seat Up for Election

    • AMER SAJED – Amer has had a successful and distinguished financial career for over 32 years in the private sector working for Citigroup and Barclaycard. After serving for many years as CEO, Amer retired from Barclaycard and its Group Executive Committee in July 2017. Post-retirement, Amer continued on as Chairman of the Board for Barclays Bank Delaware in a non-executive capacity until 2018 and also acted as Senior Consultant to BCG and American Express over the last four years.

      Amer served as a volunteer for the Biden-Harris Economic Policy Committee and various sub-committees in the run-up to the 2020 Elections. He is currently a member of the National Board of the ACLU and is passionate about civil liberties and voter protections. He holds a master’s degree in business from New York University, a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Vassar College, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He and his wife have been long time residents of Easttown with two sons who graduated from Conestoga. Endorsed by Easttown Township Democratic Committee (ETDC). Learn more about Amer.


      TE SCHOOL BOARD

    The Tredyffrin/Easttown(TE) School District serves the townships of Tredyffrin and Easttown, encompassing 38 square miles in eastern Chester County. The TE School District is divided into three regions of nearly equal population with all of Easttown Township in Region 3.

    There are nine members on the TE School Board serving 4 year staggered terms with elections occurring in the odd years (2019, 2021, etc.) Here is an excellent Guide to School Boards in Pennsylvania with information about the role of school boards and their elected officials. TE School Board Democratic Candidates – One Seat to Represent Easttown which is entirely in Region 3 Up for Election

      • SUE TIEDE – Incumbent. Sue Tiede has been active in the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District for 36 years. She and her husband Jim have three grown sons all of whom graduated from Conestoga. Five of her seven grandchildren live in the District and will be attending TE Schools next year. Sue has had many roles in T/E. She worked as a volunteer in the schools and was the President of the New Eagle PTO when her sons were in elementary school. After working as a School Counselor and Principal in the Perkiomen Valley School District, Sue became an administrator in
        T/E. She served as the Principal of Devon Elementary from 2000-2007 and then as the Director of Human Resources from 2007 until retiring in 2014.

    In 2019 Sue was elected to the T/E Board where she represents Region 3. She has served on the Policy, Facilities and Education Committees of the School Board. Currently she is Chair of the Education Committee. As a member of our community Sue has worked with parents, teachers, administrators and fellow School Board members to help build and maintain a vibrant, nationally recognized school district for our students. Endorsed by Easttown Township Democratic Committee (ETDC). 

    CHESTER COUNTY OFFICES

    COUNTY COMMISSIONER – Chester County is governed by a three-member, full-time Board of Commissioners (headed by a Chair), who serve four-year terms. The minority party is guaranteed one seat. The Commissioners are responsible for the management of the fiscal and administrative functions of the county. Their annual salary is $85,839. County Commissioner Democratic Candidates – Two Seats Up for Election

    • JOSH MAXWELL (Incumbent) – Commissioner Josh Maxwell leads with progressive values to advocate for working families, promote equality, and preserve the environment. As commissioner, his priorities have included the county’s first-ever employee group on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; a groundbreaking community-centered, values-based budgeting process; creating a mobile mental health crisis unit; numerous climate and open space incentives; and more. A graduate of West Chester University and UPenn’s Fels Institute of Government, Josh lives in Downingtown with his wife, Blair.
      Endorsed by Chester County Democratic Committee.  Campaign Website
    • MARIAN MOSKOWITZ (Incumbent) – Marian Moskowitz has dedicated her career to growing and strengthening Chester County. After four decades as a responsible local developer, she ran for Commissioner in 2019 because she believes that everyone deserves to live in a safe and prosperous community. As the first Democratic Chairwoman of the County Board of Commissioners, she’s delivered real results for Chester County. Under Marian’s leadership, Chester County now has the lowest unemployment rate in the region, our economy was ranked in the top 10 percent of High Performing Communities, and we were named the healthiest place to live in the state. From preserving our open space to investing in local infrastructure, Marian has shown up for the people of Chester County. Endorsed by Chester County Democratic Committee.  Campaign Website

    DISTRICT ATTORNEY – The District Attorney ($191, 926 annual salary) has a statutory responsibility to prosecute criminal offenses. The department’s attorneys provide legal representation for the Commonwealth at all hearings in criminal matters including appeals, probation and parole violation hearings. The office, of approximately 50 employees, also provides advice to police and county departments in matters related to criminal investigations and prosecutions. 

    • CHRIS DE BARRENA SAROBE – Chris started as a prosecutor at the Chester County DA’s Office in 2009, prosecuting a wide variety of cases. In 2015, he left the DA’s Office to become a federal prosecutor in Delaware. There he investigated and prosecuted social security fraud, high-level drug trafficking, kidnapping, and other violent offenses. Recently, Assistant United States Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. selected Chris and his team for the Criminal Division’s 2022 Distinguished Service Award, in recognition of their work on a cartel kidnapping case. A Temple Law graduate, Chris currently works at Bellwoar Kelly, LLP. He lives in Willistown with his wife and two daughters.
      Endorsed by Chester County Democratic Committee. Campaign Website

    PROTHONOTARY – The Prothonotary ($74,380 annual salary) is the legal custodian of all civil records filed with the Court of Common Pleas. The office has about 25 employees who have the responsibility for maintaining the accuracy and security of papers filed in the office and for making them available to the public. They are also responsible for processing U.S. passports. 

    • DEBBIE BOOKMAN (Incumbent) – Debbie Bookman was sworn in on January 2020 as Prothonotary. Since taking office Debbie has extended passport services to evening hours. Debbie has placed staff in roles that best suit their strength and interest, expanded bilingual services and increased diversity from 4% to 18%. Debbie prides herself on providing excellent community and customer services. She believes that when you are serving others it is often necessary to go the extra mile whenever possible. Customer service ultimately is the core of the Prothonotary’ s Office. Incumbent. Endorsed by Chester County Democratic Committee. Campaign Website

    RECORDER OF DEEDS –  The Recorder of Deeds ($74,380 annual salary) records, maintains and preserves permanent legal documents such as deeds and mortgages and makes them available for public access. The office has about 25 employees and also serves as the collection agent of the realty transfer tax. 

    • DIANE O’DWYER (Incumbent) – A resident of Uwchlan Township for 32 years, Diane O’Dwyer was sworn in as Acting Recorder of Deeds on December 1, 2022.  Prior to that, she served as Deputy Recorder for 3 years.  Diane has been an active member of CCDC since 2004 and is currently a Democratic State Committee Member.  She is a Board Member of the Housing Partnership of Chester County. Diane is proud of the solid reputation her office has built for excellence in public service. Endorsed by Chester County Democratic Committee. Campaign Website

    REGISTER OF WILLS – The Register of Wills ($74,380 annual salary) has jurisdiction over the probate of wills, the appointment of personal representatives and is also the agent for collection of state inheritance and estate taxes. The office also acts as Clerk of the Orphans’ Court which is the official keeper of court records having to do with adoptions, guardianship of minors and incapacitated persons, and issuance of marriage licenses. The Register of Wills probates wills and appoints estate representatives for decedents who die with or without a will. Regardless of where the death occurred, the decedent MUST have been a legal resident of Chester County at the time of death. The Register of Wills also serves as an agent for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for filing and payment of inheritance taxes.The combined offices have about 20 employees. 

    • MICHELE VAUGHN (Incumbent) – Michele Vaughn is Regional Director for the Pennsylvania Federation of Democratic Women and Chair of the Chester County Democratic Women’s Leadership Initiative, founded in 2015 to bring the issues that concern women, organized labor and working families to the political forefront. She was CCDC Vice-Chair from 2000-06 and Chair from 2006-14, and an East Whiteland Township Supervisor from 1998-2003. She is the current Chester County Register of Wills. Endorsed by Chester County Democratic Committee. Campaign Website

    SHERIFF– The County Sheriff ($74,380 annual salary) is the chief law enforcement officer of the county courts. The Sheriff’s Department has about 60 employees and is responsible for the transportation of prisoners to and from the court, maintaining security at the courthouse, and serving all of the civil complaints filed by the county courts.

    • KEVIN DYKES – In 2020, Kevin Dykes was sworn in as Chief Deputy Sheriff of the Chester County Sheriff’s Office. The 40-year law enforcement veteran serves the community with strong ethical leadership, protects people with fair policing and works to prevent crime through cooperative community response.

      The graduate of the FBI National Academy has served as Chief of Chester County Detectives, Pennsylvania State Trooper, advisory board member of DVCCC’s Coaching Boys Into Men program, and “Top Gun” instructor. Endorsed by Chester County Democratic Committee. Campaign Website