Kerslake announces primary challenge to Howard in 167th

Ginny Kerslake

Former Chester County Commissioner candidate Ginny Kerslake announced her candidacy Wednesday for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 167th District. This District includes West Whiteland, East Whiteland, Charlestown, Willistown, West Pikeland, and Easttown townships and Malvern borough.

“In times like today, when personal property rights, public safety, and the environment are being adversely impacted for corporate gain by the oil and gas industry; mental health and substance abuse disorder are devastating lives and communities; household finances are stretched by rising healthcare and pharmaceutical costs; and young adults are saddled with student debt and unaffordable housing costs we need a leader who will stand up, speak up, and work side by side with constituents,” she said.

Kerslake and her husband Brian live in West Whiteland in the home where they raised their two adult sons. Ginny has a Bachelors in Earth Science and a Masters in Soil Chemistry from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. From 1989 to 2004 she managed an analytical services laboratory, specializing in environmental and agricultural testing. A career opportunity for Brian brought them to Chester County in 2004 and Ginny focused on raising their sons, restoring their historic home and turning a passion for sewing into a small business.

When the Mariner East pipeline project impacted her community and others across Chester County and Pennsylvania, Kerslake stepped up to lead. She co-founded Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety and West Whiteland Residents for Pipeline Safety to raise public awareness. She became active in state and local politics as an advocate for public safety and the environment. This included testifying before the House Majority Policy Committee and at several Public Utility Commission (PUC) hearings. In 2018, as an intervenor in state Sen. Andy Dinniman’s case before the PUC, she was instrumental in the PUC ordering a temporary halt to Mariner East construction and operation. Kerslake has a well-earned reputation as a courageous, dedicated, and knowledgeable community leader.

Kerslake ran in the 2019 Democratic Primary for Chester County Commissioner, on the heels of managing the successful 2018 campaign to elect State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten in the 155th State House District. After winning the endorsement and support of several environmental groups, she worked to earn an impressive number of votes from across the county as a first-time candidate.

Kerslake is challenging freshman incumbent Kristine Howard in the Democratic Primary on April 28.

“I realize I’m challenging an incumbent in my own party, and in some circles that is unorthodox,” she said. “However, with concerns as critical as the construction of volatile pipelines running through our community, a plan to turn Pennsylvania into the next petrochemical plastics hub, sinkholes driving our neighbors from their homes,  drinking wells being destroyed, and criminal investigations and charges mounting by the day we need a fighter and champion, someone unafraid to speak truth to power. Too often we send representatives to Harrisburg who fall prey to toeing the line at the expense of what is right for their local communities. True leadership means listening to and understanding the concerns of local residents, bringing that information to Harrisburg, and then working on legislation to achieve those ends. I look forward to working for all the constituents in HD 167 and meeting Kristine Howard on the debate stage so that voters can see the differences in our approaches to making our district better for all of our neighbors.”

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