Dear Radnor Dems,
First and foremost, I want to extend much gratitude to all who helped in any way before and during Primary Day. There was a great outreach and advocacy done by so many of you to get out the vote for our Democratic candidates. At every one of Radnor's seven wards and 15 precincts, and I visited them all on Tuesday, I saw many of you not only helping out, but also doing your election work with kindness and professionalism. All voters - regardless of party - deserve to have an election day experience that is welcoming and peaceful. I am so proud of how positively we conduct ourselves, even in the face of rampant misinformation being circulated and hostility aimed at some of our thoughtful and tirelessly dedicated elected officials, including our volunteer school board members, who have served an unprecedented past fifteen months.
While no municipal primary generates the same turnout as presidential elections, Tuesday, May 18, 2021 set a record for Democratic turnout in a municipal primary election in Radnor. That is a very important continuation of a recent trend in Radnor’s voting activity. It demonstrates that we Democrats continue to recognize how vitally important it is to vote in ALL elections to make sure that the officials who represent us at EVERY level of government - township, county, state and federal - are houghtfully chosen to best represent our interests and values. Let's not forget that this is not just about winning elections. Radnor Democrats stand for fostering the best possible quality of life in our hometown for all and ensuring that each and every resident feels recognized and valued. Here are some unofficial trends/comparisons between the 2013, 2017 and 2021 Primary numbers in commissioner races.
2013 Primary: [D] Edbril 65 / [R] Booker 168
2017 Primary [D] Diskin 136/ [R] Booker 146
2021 Primary [D] Myers 271/ [R] Waters 212
2013 Primary: [D] Schaefer 152 / [R] Phlean 125 (Elaine won in Nov)
2017 Primary [D] Borowski 238/ [R] McMeekin 247 (Lisa won in Nov)
2021 Primary [D] Borowski 463/ [R] Nekoumand 354
2013 Primary: [D] Foy 139 / [R] Curley 202
2017 Primary [D] Plotkin 261/ [R] Abel 258
2021 Primary [D] Rome 461/ [R] Abel 385
You can see why I am encouraged. In November 2017, Radnor Democrats swept all four school board seats by a comfortable margin. Our 2019 vote totals in both the primary and the general elections were even better than 2017, and this year - so far – is even better than 2019. For example, when these same 2021 four Democratic incumbents ran in the 2017 Democratic Primary, their (low to high) vote totals were 1154- 1440. This year was 2292-2603. Conversely, the Republicans’ low to high vote totals in their Primary this year were 1671-1773. So our Democratic margins continue to increase and we will continue to build on them in a strong, steady and dignified manner.
This link will get you to the precinct-by-precinct breakdowns of the full Radnor May 2021 Primary Election Results.
However, despite the promising news from Tuesday, our work is FAR from done and we will leave no stone unturned. The Republicans will likely be talking about the votes their cross-filed school board candidates got on the Democratic primary ballot. That is NOT an apples-to-apples comparison because our school board candidates chose not to cross file on the Republican ballot. Trends tell us that if they had, they would have also gotten votes on the Republican ballot. Moreover, Independents cannot vote for candidates in the Primary, but can and will vote in November. Historically, the Independents’ vote has favored Democrats, but through the Trump years, the Democratic share of the Independents’ vote has greatly increased and become even more favorable. However, we never take elections for granted, and while we successfully navigated the challenge of the Republican efforts to undermine us in the primary, it was just a primary. November is a whole different ball game. We are counting on each and every one of you to join forces with us again to ensure that each and every one of our candidates is successful in November so that professional, fiscally responsible and informed Democratic leadership continues everywhere.
On another note, I’d like to point out the very fortuitous but not surprising news that Newsweek just recognized this week the Radnor Township School District as being the BEST school district in all of Pennsylvania in an article published on Primary Day. While the national recognition of Radnor being chosen as #1 out of 500 public school districts across all of Pennsylvania is fantastic, we have always known with pride that our Democratic Radnor School Board members have been laser focused on a bold but cost-effective educational vision for our students that promotes academic excellence and innovation as part of anextremely well-rounded educational experience in an environment that is accessible to and inclusive of all. Just some of their many accomplishments over their recent years of service that come from this vision are listed below:
* Maintained Radnor’s #1 state district (out of 500 distrcts) ranking and #10 national ranking – source: Niche.com
* Instituted in 2015 the first full-day kindergarten program on the Main Line;
* First in the region to institute in 2019 the American Academy of Pediatricss and American Medical Association's recommended 8:30AM or later high school start time;
* Adopted in 2020 a district goal of foundational Diversity, Equity,and Inclusion initiatives;
* Implemented in 2020 Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS) for student social and emotional well being;
* Broke ground in 2021 on historic and comprehensive ADA and safety renovations for the high school and athletic facilities;
* Provided effective oversight of multiple, complex COVID-19 district administrative decisions to balance the instructional program with safety;
* Was FIRST among 27 school districts under the jurisdiction of the Chester County Health Department to return students/staff safely to our buildings for in person instruction throughout COVID-19.
* Renewed Student Wellness Study as 2020-2021 District goal to ensure the academic, physical, and social-emotional wellness of all students;
* Approved PA Grant to Radnor Township to extend the Radnor Trail around the high school.
Radnor Democrats stand for the truth. It's important that each and every one of us takes the time to educate ourselves and our fellow residents about the truth of the great work being done in our Radnor public schools under Democratic leadership. Most recently, you might have seen blue “Myth Buster” signs we put up at the polling locations about Radnor being the FIRST among the 27 school districts under the jurisdiction of the Delaware County Health Department to return its students and staff safely to our buildings for in person instruction during the pandemic. Furthermore, Radnor students have been learning full time in person since March, and every day more of the typical pre-pandemic school activities and rituals are returning. In less than three weeks, Radnor High School will once again be holding its graduation ceremony at Villanova University, albeit outdoors, to give our seniors their traditional send off. In addition to the Radnor School Board, our other Radnor government entity, the Board of Commissioners, continues to do outstanding and responsible work. Since Radnor Democrats gained the majority on our Board of Commissioners in 2009, taxes have been much more restrained than under the previous decades of Republican control. Democratic commissioners have also gone to great lengths to save open space, add sidewalks to make Radnor more pedestrian-friendly, streamline our Radnor government functions and services, and are providing local governance that is the envy of neighboring communities.
Again, my heartfelt appreciation extends to everyone for your Primary support. It truly matters. General Election campaigns now lie ahead that won’t be easy or simple. But I am confident that with your continued energy and engagement, we will continue to resoundingly elect high quality Democratic leaders who will make a significantly positive difference for our Radnor community both for the short and long term.
Chair, Radnor Democratic Committee