Running For Office In 2023

Yesterday the Delaware County Democrats held their annual nominating convention. About 450 Democrats gathered in Chester to vote on endorsements (which are recommendations from the party for the upcoming primary). These endorsements often come with party support, so they’re usually influential in these local, low turnout elections. Dan McCaffrey was endorsed for state supreme court, Timika Lane and Jill Beck for superior court and in a close vote, Matt Wolf for Commonwealth Court. In local races, Rachel Ezzell Berry got an overwhelming 86.7% of the vote against Jennifer DiPillo for the Court of Common Pleas. The Democrats also endorsed in uncontested races for District Attorney (Jack Stollsteimer) and County Council (Christine Reuther, Elaine Paul Schaefer and Monica Taylor).

A few days ago, the Delaware County Republicans also held their endorsement process (I have less insight into how that works). Their slate is Dawn Getty Sutphin for Court of Common Pleas, Beth Stefanide Miscichowski for District Attorney, and for County Council Jeff Jones, Joy Schwartz and Bill Dennon.

Nominating petitions started a week ago. This process requires candidates wishing to run in a party primary in May to seek the signatures of registered voters of those parties. The number of signatures depends on the office, running from 10 for school board or commissioner up to 250 for county council or district attorney (state offices require even more). Candidates almost always try to collect more in case some of the signatures are ruled invalid. The petition packet is available on the county’s website with all the forms needed to run for office and some guidance, but if you want to run you should seek help from the party or someone that’s been through the process before. There’s a lot of ways to make mistakes along the way that get your petitions thrown out or fall afoul of election financing rules. Independent and third party candidates do a similar process in the summer after the primary, but getting an independent or third party candidate on the ballot is harder in Pennsylvania. If you’re interested in running for office in November, you need to collect petitions now.

Its ridiculous that the process starts a full 9 months before the election. So much can happen in 9 months. I posted a list of the offices up for election previously. I currently have petitions for candidates for every office except for one seat in the Region 2 school board – that’s southern Nether Providence (wards 1, 5 and precincts 6-2 and 7-2) and Rose Valley. If you’re interested in running for that, let your party know soon.

Expect people to ask you to sign forms to get candidates on the ballot. I’ll be holding an event here in Garden City next Sunday from 5-7 pm, I’ll post the details this week. Stop by and help get Democrats on the ballot this year.

Categories: Government