Coz­zone makes it of­fi­cial

Com­mis­sioner Kathi Coz­zone for­mally an­nounces run for lieu­tenant gov­er­nor

The Phoenix - - LOCAL NEWS - By Bill Ret­tew Jr. bret­tew@dai­ly­lo­cal.com

Say­ing she has the abil­ity to serve in a bi­par­ti­san man­ner, Demo­cratic Chester County Com­mis­sioner Kathi Coz­zone of­fi­cially launched her cam­paign for lieu­tenant gov­er­nor dur­ing a Tues­day af­ter­noon rally at the His­toric Chester County Court­house.

About five dozen sup­port­ers heard the 10-year vet­eran county com­mis­sioner and 20-year busi­ness­woman say she wants to take in­cum­bent Lt. Gov. Mike Stack’s spot on the Novem­ber 2018 bal­lot to run with Demo­cratic Gov. Tom Wolf as he seeks a sec­ond term. To do that, she’ll have to win the May Demo­cratic pri­mary.

Coz­zone quoted for­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den speak­ing about the need for unity: “The other team is not the en­emy.”

“We have to work to­gether for the ben­e­fit of our cit­i­zens,” Coz­zone said. “Penn­syl­va­nia must set a dif­fer­ent ex­am­ple than the pres­i­dent (Don­ald Trump) has.”

Coz­zone said she hasn’t al­ways agreed with Repub­li­cans, but she works well with the other ma­jor party.

“Too of­ten, Har­ris­burg suf­fers — and by ex­ten­sion all Penn­syl­va­ni­ans suf­fer – from a lack of bi­par­ti­san­ship in Har­ris­burg. I bring a unique record of work­ing with my Repub­li­can col­leagues in Chester County to serve the com­mon good, re­gard­less of po­lit­i­cal ide­ol­ogy or par­ti­san con­cerns.”

Coz­zone said she has the skills and ex­pe­ri­ence to gov­ern on a statewide level.

She pointed to her work with the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem, so­cial pro­grams, non­profit boards, state gov­ern­ment task forces and as a mem­ber of the County Com­mis­sion­ers As­so­ci­a­tion of Penn­syl­va­nia.

Brian McGin­nis, chair of the Chester County Demo­cratic Com­mit­tee, said that Coz­zone is not just a “grand­stander.”

“She is some­one who can reach across the aisle and get things done for the com­mu­nity,” McGin­nis said.

State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-156th Dist., also stressed the im­por­tance of bi­par­ti­san col­lab­o­ra­tion.

“Kathi works very closely with all of us at the lo­cal level,” Comitta said. Party af­fil­i­a­tion is not im­por­tant to Coz­zone, she added.

“It doesn’t mat­ter if it’s a Demo­cratic or a Repub­li­can idea,” Comitta said. “She’s all over the place help­ing the peo­ple of West Chester and the com­mon­wealth.”

Kevin Barn­hardt, a county com­mis­sioner from neigh­bor­ing Berks County, vis­ited West Chester to sup­port Coz­zone.

“She’ll work hand-ing love, non­par­ti­san,” Barn­hardt said. “She’s en­gaged. She’ll take her hard-charg­ing ef­forts to Har­ris­burg.”

Bucks County Com­mis­sioner Diane El­lis-Marseglia was also on hand to en­dorse Coz­zone who she said is a “role model.”

“Every­body who serves in state gov­ern­ment should have to serve in the mi­nor­ity,” she said. “It re­quires twice the amount of work.”

Coz­zone is the mi­nor­ity mem­ber of the three-per­son county Board of Com­mis­sion­ers.

Coz­zone’s “two Vic­tors,” her hus­band and son, ad­dressed the ral­ly­go­ers.

“My mom has al­ways been in­volved in ev­ery­thing I do,” the Down­ing­town East High School sopho­more said. “She does ev­ery­thing she can to see oth­ers suc­ceed.”

Coz­zone’s hus­band Vic­tor said the can­di­date is a “tremen­dous and won­der­ful wife” and “dili­gent, fair and hon­est.”

Stack has said he plans to seek re-elec­tion, and at least one other Demo­crat has an­nounced a bid for lieu­tenant gov­er­nor: Aryanna Ber­ringer, an Iraq War vet­eran and for­mer Chester County res­i­dent who cur­rently lives in the Pitts­burgh area.

Un­like the of­fices of pres­i­dent and vice pres­i­dent of the United States, Penn­syl­va­nia’s gov­er­nor and lieu­tenant gov­er­nor run sep­a­rately in pri­mary elec­tions, and to­gether in gen­eral elec­tions.

How­ever, state Sen. Da- vid Ar­gall, R-Berks, in­tro­duced a bill in June that would al­low gu­ber­na­to­rial nom­i­nees to pick their run­ning mates

BILL RET­TEW JR. – DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Sup­port­ers showed up Tues­day at the His­toric Chester County Court­house to hear County Com­mis­sioner Kathi Coz­zone of­fi­cially an­nounce her bid for lieu­tenant gov­er­nor on the Demo­cratic ticket.

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