Pocopson election likely to represent a first

Pocopson Township is poised to make county history during the fall election – at least unofficially.

Pocopson Township residents are likely to elect the county's first all-female board of supervisors in November.

Pocopson Township residents are likely to elect the county's first all-female board of supervisors in November.

Barring any unforeseen write-in candidates, voters will be selecting from two Republican women – Elaine DiMonte and Alice Balsama – to fill two vacancies on the Pocopson Township Board of Supervisors. In January, DiMonte and Balsama would join incumbent Supervisor Ricki Stumpo, creating what is likely the first all-female board of supervisors in the county.

Chester County officials said they were unable to recall any other all-female municipal administrative body in the county and believed Pocopson’s election would represent a first.

In the primary, Balsama faced off against current Supervisors’ Chairman Barney Leonard, also running as a Republican, in a hotly contested race for an unexpired, four-year term that ended up in Common Pleas Court. The county’s president judge ordered Balsama removed from the ballot, citing improper paperwork; however, Balsama won as a write-in candidate.

In a recent interview, Leonard, who won spots on the Democratic ballot, said he had his name removed from contention and has no plans to challenge either DiMonte, who had sought the six-year term, or Balsama.

“The voters have spoken,” he said, citing frustration over the low turnout for the primary. “What happens at the municipal level is what impacts people the most.”

Leonard, formerly a member of the township’s planning commission, said his political aspirations have ended. “The political landscape has made the business of running a beautiful place like Pocopson very unpleasant,” he said.

He said he believes the rancorous tone that has accompanied some of the recent township disagreements, such as the primary itself and the Barnard House conflict, hurts an already challenging environment.

Still, he said he loves living in Pocopson and plans to continue to be involved in the township. “I’m not sure how yet,” he said, “but I will help any way that I can.”

In the meantime, he said he plans to work hard during the next six months to complete his term. He said he wishes his successors well and imparted some of the wisdom he gained during his tenure: “It’s not an easy job.”



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One Response to “Pocopson election likely to represent a first”

  1. Sean says:

    I think it’s fair to say that the proverbial glass ceiling has been broken in Pocopson. A female write-in candidate, Alice Balsama successfully won her challenge against a male incumbent. Obviously, the residents of Pocopson choose their candidates based of the quality of the applicant, not their sex. January should be a very exciting time around here, and I know these three woman will work collaboratively to keep Pocopson great.

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