Royer gets Common Pleas nod from GOP

DiGiorgio stresses unity, DA Hogan promises to ‘crush’ opponent

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times


Allison Bell Royer thanks members of the Chester County Republican Committee following her endorsement for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas Thursday night as committee solicitor Joel Frank and party Chair Val DiGiorgio look on.

WESTTOWN — Although there were early concerns that a couple of contested races for county-wide party endorsements might make for a tense night, Chester County’s Republican Committee again managed to emerge unified, smoothly endorsing its 2015 county ticket, Thursday night.

Having the party endorsement all but means a candidate will earn the party nomination in the May primary — and as such are often fiercely contested in the months leading up to the annual Republican Committee convention.

As it turned out, the biggest drama of the night might have come when District Attorney Tom Hogan pledged to “crush” his opponent (at the same time, the county Democrats were nominating Tom Purl for the post).

Party Chairman Val DiGiorgio did take time to praise his committee — and noted the efforts of the party’s rank and file led to upset wins in 2014’s legislative races, pointing specifically to Harry Lewis Jr.’s win in the 74th District, a district with a strong Democratic registration advantage.

“We were able to make 10,000 calls on the weekend before the election in that race,” he said, noting that Republicans around the county rallied to help send the commonwealth’s largest GOP delegation of any county to Harrisburg this January. With a similar effort by the party’s committee members and supporter, he said, Republicans will again win in 2015.

“When we’re unified, no one can beat us,” DiGiorgio said.

The county GOP is also unveiling new voter targeting systems, making it easier for committee members to reach out to their voters — and to better target voters of all registration based on specific individual issues.

Although the night opened with a total of seven candidates for a single Court of Common Pleas slot, all but one candidate — Lenny Rivera, a Kennett Square attorney — stepped aside in favor of Allison Bell Royer, who won the nomination on the second ballot, 268-82.


Republicans took a moment at the end of Thursday night’s convention to gather the entire slate of endorsed county-wide candidates: from left Matt Holliday for Prothonotary, Terri Clark for Register of Wills, Allison Bell Royer for Court of Common Pleas, Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh for Sheriff, Michelle Kichline for Commissioner, Party Chair Val DiGiorgio, Rick Loughery for Recorder of Deeds and Tom Hogan for District Attorney. Not pictured — as he had to leave to attend another event – Terence Farrell for Commissioner.

Royer will face Democrat Julia Malloy-Good — who had a strong showing running for the same post in 2013, but fell short. Just two years after stepping aside herself to support the candidacies of Patrick Carmody and Jeffrey Sommer — who both won election — Royer found a party united behind her.

“Two years ago wasn’t my time,” she said. “I’m a little overwhelmed by the support tonight.’ She said her campaign will stress her legal experience as well as her judicial temperament.

In the only other contested county-wide race, Matt Holiday outpolled Sarah Russo, 282—73 for Prothonotary. Incumbent Prothonotary announced his plan to retire, after initially signaling a desire to run for a fourth term.

The other endorsements — for candidates without challenges were quickly adopted by voice vote: Terence Farrell and Michelle Kichline for County Commissioner, Hogan for District Attorney, Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh for Sheriff, Rick Loughery for Recorder of Deeds, and Terri Clark for Register of Wills. All are current incumbents — and as of last night, only Welsh appears not to have a Democratic opponent in the fall.

Meeting in West Chester at the same time, the county’s Democrats endorsed their own slate: including Kathi Cozzone (incumbent) and West Chester Borough Council member Bill Scott for Commissioner, Purl for District Attorney, Tisha Brown for Prothonotary, Hans Van Mol for Recorder of Deeds and Lani Frank for Register of Wills. No candidate for sheriff was endorsed.

The Times will have full coverage of the Democratic convention later today.

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One Comment

  1. Christine Mary Bell says:

    Congratulations to Allison!

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