Chester County voters choose state House candidates
Danielle Friel Otten, Kristine Howard win in Democratic primaries
Chester County voters made their picks in contested state legislative district races during Pennsylvania’s primary elections on Tuesday.
The field has been narrowed in the 155th and 167th House districts as Democrats and Republicans settled on candidates to send onto the general election this November.
With 3,301 votes, or 82.1 percent of the vote, Danielle Friel Otten was victorious over East Pikeland Supervisor Ron Graham in a two-person race to represent the Democratic Party in the 155th House District. Graham received 712 votes, or 17.7 percent of the vote. Incumbent Republican Rep. Becky Corbin ran unopposed.
All election results are unofficial until certified by the Chester County Board of Elections.
Friel Otten is a Uwchlan Township resident who said not enough is being done to boost education, health care and protect the environment.
“Harrisburg needs to start getting things done,” said Friel Otten, a lifelong Democrat. “The state government is not fully funding education and we need to make more progress on health care needs. We need someone to roll up their sleeves and become part of the solution for the challenges we face.”
Friel Otten is a mother of two children, ages 2 and 4, works in the marketing and hospitality business. She is founder of both Uwchlan Safety Coalition and Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety, and has been a leading voice in the fight for transparency, accountability, and corporate responsibility.
“While working families struggle to meet basic challenges of health care, child care, and education, our government is busy catering to corporate interests,” she said. “Career politicians promote tax breaks and deregulation, and allow corporations to abuse our private property rights, contaminate our local environment and jeopardize the health, welfare, and safety of our communities.”
The 155th District includes the townships of East Brandywine, West Brandywine, East Pikeland, Uwchlan, Upper Uwchlan, West Vincent, and the borough of Spring City and part of Phoenixville.
In the 167th District, Kristine Howard finished ahead of Jeff McFall in a two-person race on the Democratic Primary ballot to run against Republican incumbent Rep. Duane Milne, who ran unopposed, in November. Howard won 3,114 votes, or 78.3 percent of the vote. McFall scored 21.3 percent of the vote with 849 votes.
A single mother of three boys and four girls, Howard recently told Democratic committee members, “the sweeping victories of our Chester County row office candidates in 2017 heralded a seismic shift in the political realities we previously understood as activist Democrats.”
Citing elections in 2016 and 2017 within the boundaries of the 167th District, she pointed out that Democratic women received more votes in nearly every race where their opponent was a Republican man.
Before resuming her career as a child welfare worker, Howard worked for Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, was a child advocate for children in foster care in Philadelphia and was an organizer on several Democratic political campaigns, including the Obama campaign in 2012.
The 167th District is comprised of parts of Charlestown, East Whiteland, Easttown, West Pikeland, West Whiteland and Willistown townships, along with Malvern.
Danielle Friel Otten
Rep. Duane Milne
Rep. Becky Corbin