DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES FOR JUNE 2, 2020 PRIMARY
On June 2nd, registered Easttown Township Democrats can vote for their preferred candidates to represent the Democratic Party in the November General Election for the following six offices: President of the United States, Representative to the US House of Representatives, Pennsylvania Attorney General, Pennsylvania Auditor General, Pennsylvania Treasurer, and Pennsylvania State Representative. There are no county, township or school board elections in 2020. Listed below are all the known candidates currently running. PLEASE NOTE: May 26th is the last day to register before the primary if you haven’t yet registered or may be switching your party affiliation. Learn more about registration
PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
There will be only two candidates for president on the Democratic Primary ballot. To help you make a decision on this most critical choice, we’ve listed the candidates with links to their official websites as well as to an independent website summarizing their views on important issues such as: Criminal Justice, Cyber Security, Economy, Education, Energy & Climate Change, Food & Agriculture, Gun Control, Health Care, Immigration, Infrastructure, Marijuana & Cannabis Legalization, Military, Taxes, Technology, and Trade. We’ve also included article links from writers who have made what they see as the “best case” for each candidate.
REPRESENTATIVE TO THE US HOUSE OF CONGRESS IN WASHINGTON, DC
Represents Pennsylvania Congressional District 6 which includes Easttown Township, all of Chester County and southeastern Berks County.
CHRISSY HOULAHAN (Incumbent) – Chrissy earned her engineering degree from Stanford with a ROTC scholarship and received her M.S. in Technology and Policy from MIT. She served three years active duty as a Captain in the US Air Force, and 13 years in the Reserves. Then she became Chief Operating office of the sportswear company AND1. She was founding COO of B-Lab (a nonprofit that promotes B Corporations and good business practices) and President and COO/CFO for Springboard Collaborative (a Philadelphia-based nonprofit focused on improving early childhood literacy in underserved communities). She was first elected to the PA-06 seat in November 2018 by a margin of 18%. In the House of Representatives, she serves on the Committees on Armed Forces, Foreign Affairs, and Small Business. Endorsed by CCDC.
PENNSYLVANIA ATTORNEY GENERAL (Salary: $167,838)
The Attorney General of Pennsylvania is an elected constitutional office in the executive branch of the Pennsylvania state government. He or she serves as the chief law enforcement officer of Pennsylvania and represents the state and its agencies in any action brought by or against them. Additionally, the attorney general is responsible for collecting all debts, taxes and accounts due to the state. The attorney general serves as a member of boards and commissions, including the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the Board of Pardons, the Board of Finance and Revenue, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission and the Mid-Atlantic Great Lakes Organized Crime Law Enforcement Network. The attorney general is popularly elected in presidential election years and cannot serve more than two consecutive terms in office.
JOSH SHAPIRO (Incumbent) – Josh Shapiro was sworn in on January 17, 2017, as Pennsylvania’s top lawyer and chief law enforcement officer with a mandate to ensure integrity and be the people’s Attorney General. Some of his top priorities include protecting seniors, veterans, small businesses and consumers from scams and fraud; implementing a comprehensive integrity agenda to ensure people from across the Commonwealth are heard and have faith in the justice system; and directing an aggressive fight against the heroin and opioid epidemic, including treatment for those suffering from addiction. As the Chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, his work on behalf of victims and for criminal justice reform earned him the trust of law enforcement leaders from across the ideological spectrum. Earlier, as Chairman of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners Josh led an historic fiscal turnaround, helped the first LGBT couples in Pennsylvania marry, protected voting rights and fired Wall Street money managers to protect pensions and save retirees millions. As State Representative for Pennsylvania’s 153rd House District he passed some of the toughest ethics laws in state history. Josh graduated magna cum laude from the University of Rochester and earned his law degree at night from Georgetown University Law Center, and was in private practice for over a decade. Josh was raised in Montgomery County, where he met his high school sweetheart, Lori, and where they are raising their four children. Endorsed by CCDC.
PENNSYLVANIA TREASURER (Salary: $167,838)
The treasurer is the chief financial officer of the government, responsible for managing the commonwealth’s money and serving as Pennsylvania’s banker.
JOE TORSELLA (Incumbent) – Joseph M. Torsella was elected the 77th treasurer of Pennsylvania in 2016. He oversees an office of 360 employees protecting nearly $100 billion in state assets and safeguarding the financial health of the state. From 2011-2014 as the U.S. Representative to the United Nations, for budget and management reform, he advocated for budget restraint and transparency, including webcasting of UN meetings and publication of audits. He also served as chair of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education and was the founding president and CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, a non-profit museum and education complex. He raised $185 million in private and public funds, allowing the Center to open in 2003. His tenure at the National Constitution Center has been described by the Philadelphia Inquirer as a “resounding success” by a “modern-day founding father.” As Philadelphia’s deputy mayor for policy and planning under then-Mayor Ed Rendell in the early 1990s, Torsella helped develop initiatives to resolve the city’s $1.25 billion deficit in “one of the most stunning turnarounds in the nation,” as stated by the New York Times. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in economics and history, and studied American History at New College, Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar. Endorsed by CCDC.
PENNSYLVANIA AUDITOR GENERAL (Salary:$167,838)
The auditor general serves as the commonwealth’s fiscal watchdog, ensuring that all state money is spent legally and properly. There are four candidates.
Nina Ahmed – Nina Ahmad is a scientist, women’s rights advocate, and first-generation-Bangladeshi American. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, and achieved success as a molecular biologist and entrepreneur. In addition to her professional life, Nina has been a successful civic leader who takes on big fights and wins. As president of the Philadelphia National Organization for Women (NOW), Nina led a fight against the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office when it refused to fire three prosecutors who had emailed degrading pornographic images. She has led important efforts to fight workplace discrimination and harassment that economically undermine women and people of color. As one of the few women of color to serve on the board of the Philadelphia Foundation, Nina has helped raise millions of dollars for local nonprofits that improve the quality of life for working and poor families.
Nina has served as Deputy Mayor for Public Engagement under Mayor Jim Kenney, overseeing the Commission for Women, the Office of Black Male Engagement, and the Youth Commission and worked closely with the office of LGBT Affairs. She has also served on President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and on Mayor Nutter’s Commission on Asian American Affairs. Nina and her husband Ahsan have lived in Philadelphia for over 30 years. They raised their two daughters, Joya and Priya, to share in the values of community and service that they hold dear.
SCOTT CONKLIN – Rep. H. Scott Conklin (D-Centre) is a member of the Pa. House of Representatives since 2006. He is a Rush Township resident and has been married to his wife, Terri, since 1984. They have one son, Spencer, who was born in 1987. In the state House, he serves as the Democratic Chairman of the Gaming and Oversight Committee. He also serves on the House Democratic Policy Committee, and is a member of the Alternative Energy, Early Childhood Education and Veterans caucuses as well as several others. Before being elected to the state House in 2006, Conklin served as Centre County Commissioner for seven years. During his tenure as commissioner, he served as board chairman and chairman of the Salary Board, Retirement Board, Employee Benefits Trust, and Board of Assessment. Other county boards Conklin served on included Elections, Emergency Communications, Criminal Justice Advisory, Prison, SuperFund Amendments Reauthorization Act of 1986-Local Emergency Planning Committee, and the Finance Committee. He has served with various community boards and organizations including the Bellefonte/Intervalley Chamber, Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County, Centre Region Metropolitan Planning Organization, C-Net and the United Way. He is a member of the Elks, the Pomona Grange, and the Mosquito Creek and Three Points Sportsmen’s clubs. He also is a past member of the Builders Association of Central Pennsylvania. He and Terri are the owners of Conklin’s Corner Antique Mall in Philipsburg.
ROSE M. DAVIS – Rose Davis has an accounting and auditing career that spans over three decades. Her expertise centers in the area of governmental entities and not-for-profit organizations. Davis is a certified public accountant and serves as the Vice Chairman of the Smithfield Township Board of Auditors. Ms. Davis was elected in 2017 to serve a term from 2018 to 2024. Ms. Davis serves on the Finance Committee for the Shawnee Valley Owners Association. She is a member of the Monroe County NAACP. Ms. Davis owns a financial management consulting business in Monroe County and works with Galleros Robinson LLP in New York City.
TRACIE FOUNTAIN – Tracie Fountain is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of Drexel University.Tracie served in the Pennsylvania Auditor General’s office for over 29 years. Serving in the administrations of four auditor generals, including Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. She has learned to apply the power of the pen to protect Pennsylvanians and their families.During her tenure with the Auditor General’s Department, in addition to holding the positions of field supervisor and Technical Training Manager, Tracie has served as the Bureau Director for the five auditing bureaus: School Audits, State-Aided Audits, Volunteer Firefighters Relief Association Audits, Liquor Audits, and Children and Youth Services Audits.
As the Director of School Audits, she and her management team, developed the department’s first school safety reviews after our nation experienced the tragic Columbine shooting in 1999 and conducted the audits of the first 12 charter schools, identifying the charter school funding disparities. She also developed the bus drivers’ qualifications testing, still used by the department today, in response to a Red Lion School District bus driver going off route with a bus load of students. More recently, as the Director of Children and Youth Services Audits, Tracie developed a risk-based audit approach that lead to the discovery of many Children and Youth agencies’ failure to monitor contracted ‘In-Home Purchased Services’ providers. This would ensure that contracted and paid for services were provided in adherence to executed contract terms and the Department of Human Services’ failure to conduct inspections of these providers’ or push for the legislature to require these types of providers to have criminal background checks.
Currently, the Auditor’s office conducts over 5,000 audits per year, while operating with the smallest Auditor General’s staff in history – the office demands someone with Tracie’s wealth of knowledge and experience. Tracie is running for Auditor General because she wants to continue the work of her past predecessors and to bring new and fresh ideas to the office from a field supervisor’s and Bureau Director’s perspective. Tracie’s leadership, through the release of transparent audit reports and established open lines of communications with Pennsylvania citizens, will ensure that Pennsylvania taxpayer funds are efficiently and effectively used for their intended purposes and that funded programs are achieving their established objectives.
CHRISTINA HARTMAN – Christina Hartman grew up in Lancaster County and is a non-profit leader and global advocate for democracy, fair elections, and government accountability. Christina has worked for nearly 20 years as a senior non-profit leader, managing federally-funded programs up to $44 million in scope and advocating for citizens’ rights and government accountability at several high-profile non-profits, including Freedom House, the National Democratic Institute, and the Joyful Heart Foundation and their affiliate offices, in more than 15 countries. In 2016, Christina ran for U.S. Congress in Pennsylvania’s former 16th district, a district initially deemed “too red to win.” However, Christina made this rural district competitive, gaining national attention from EMILY’s List and the DCCC and raising $1.25 million from grassroots supporters. Christina has also channeled her domestic experience in politics back into the international arena and has trained more than 100 women candidates in Liberia and Ukraine on fundraising and communications. Most recently, Christina was part of an international observation mission for Ukraine’s 2019 Presidential election to ensure the integrity of the vote and use international presence to deter violence. Endorsed by CCDC.
MICHAEL LAMB – Michael E. Lamb has served as the Controller of the City of Pittsburgh since 2008, where he has taken on public corruption and acted as an independent voice for city residents — working to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse; strengthen the city’s finances; and save money for taxpayers. Lamb knows that the Controller, like the Auditor General, is the citizens’ first line of defense against corruption. Lamb has been a strong progressive voice for city residents — taking on Wall Street, big corporations, and special interests — to do right by taxpayers. Audits conducted by Lamb’s office have exposed waste and abuse of tax dollars in city government and have led to major improvements in the way that city departments and authorities serve and interact with taxpayers. Lamb has also led the fight against several privatization proposals in Pittsburgh, offering creative solutions to ensure that revenue from public assets goes toward improving the city’s finances instead of lining the pockets of Wall Street investment bankers. As City Controller of Pittsburgh, Lamb has been a champion of government transparency and accountability — opening city government to the people so they can monitor exactly how their money is spent. In April 2019, Lamb launched the newly upgraded Fiscal Focus Pittsburgh website, giving taxpayers unprecedented access to information about the city’s budget operations. Lamb also created Open Book Pittsburgh, a website that allows citizens to search and view all city contracts, as well as all campaign contributions and expenses of all candidates running for office in the city of Pittsburgh. Additionally, Lamb released Pittsburgh’s first Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR), a user-friendly version of the city’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) that gives taxpayers a clear, accessible picture of the state of Pittsburgh’s finances and information on Pittsburgh’s demographics and government. Endorsed by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.
REPRESENTATIVE TO THE PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE IN HARRISBURG (Salary: $90,335)
Represents District 167 which includes Easttown Township.
KRISTINE HOWARD (Incumbent) – Kristine is a forward thinker from Malvern who is in tune with the needs of her neighbors. As a devoted single mother of seven, three still attending public schools, she focuses on the principle to put children first and work constantly to ensure their safety. She used her degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers Law School to run a small legal and social services organization in New Mexico, before returning to Pennsylvania and joining the Philadelphia Lawyers for the Arts as an advocate for youth in foster care. She eventually joined the Chester County Department of Children, Youth, and Family services to investigate child abuse. Kristine understands quality schools are critical in laying the groundwork for a successful future. This fuels her fight to improve state programs and funding to offer quality education, healthcare, and career opportunities for all, including two-income families and single mothers, whose life challenges she shares. She is dedicated to creating solutions to the problems faced by all Chester County families. Kristine was first elected to this seat in November 2018. She serves on the PA House Committees on Children & Youth, Finance, and Human Services, and is a member of the Climate, PA SAFE (gun violence) and Women’s Health Caucuses. Endorsed by CCDC.
GINNY KERSLAKE – Every two years voters have the opportunity to decide who will represent them. Once Democrats take control of our State House in 2020, we will need a leader who shares our community values, and someone who will prioritize putting people and our planet over profits. With so much at stake, Ginny has decided to run for State Representative for District 167. Ginny has degrees in Earth Science and managed an analytical services laboratory before moving to Chester County in 2004. Settling in West Whiteland, Ginny focused on raising their two sons and restoring their historic home, and turned a passion for sewing into a small business. When the Mariner East pipeline project impacted her family and thousands of others in Chester County, she stepped up to lead her community against this threat to our quality of life, property values, environment, and public safety. The need for change in government brought her to managing Danielle Otten’s 2018 grassroots campaign for PA House, winning a historic victory, turning the district blue for the first time since 1990. Ginny has earned a reputation as a knowledgeable and dedicated leader who will show up, listen to her constituents, understand their concerns, and speak truth to power, whatever the issue.