In the Kennett Spotlight
Candidates for
Chester County Commissioner
Court of Common Pleas

By AJ Miguel

As the dog days of summer wane and Back to School shopping commences, four candidates for local office are pounding the pavement to ensure Chester County voters know they’re ready to get to work on our behalf. Analisa Sondergaard and Bret Binder – for Court of Common Pleas – and Josh Maxwell and Marian Moskowitz – for Chester County Commissioners – are proven leaders with deep roots in our community; look for them on the ballot November 5, 2019!

Court of Common Pleas Candidates

The Court of Common Pleas of Chester County is a general jurisdiction trial court, where judges hear cases spanning criminal prosecutions, lawsuits involving money or property, divorce, custody disputes, child support issues, adoptions, and estates. Judges Sondergaard and Binder bring proven judicial experience and a robust record of advocacy for equality and fairness in the administration of justice. Their candidacy is already historic; this general election represents the first time sitting Magisterial District Judges are running for the Court of Common Pleas in Chester County.

Analisa Sondergaard moved to Philadelphia from Memphis, TN, to attend Temple Law almost 30 years ago, met her future husband within the first hour of classes, and decided to stay. She started her career as a prosecutor at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office before moving on as a civil litigator. As an attorney, Analisa saw how she could be even more impactful in the courtroom and, in 2011, was elected to the bench against a Republican incumbent in Tredyffrin and East Whiteland townships. Honed by her years in the DA’s Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, she supports victims’ rights and protecting vulnerable populations, including minors and the elderly. Her experience as a trial attorney and a judge, as well as her understanding of the law, is an incredible asset that will benefit the residents of Chester County as she works to improve the judicial system for all.

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Bret Binder is a Montgomery County native with a strong sense of family; in fact, he still bowls with his parents once a week. A Villanova Law graduate, he began his career clerking for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court before ultimately starting his own practice in commercial litigation, real estate and small business. Bret has always had an interest in becoming a judge and, in 2017, he defeated the 18-year Republican incumbent to become the Magisterial District Judge serving parts of West Chester and the townships of East Bradford and West Bradford. He wasted no time building a reputation based on common sense and fairness. Bret’s compassionate approach in the courtroom is recognized even by the offenders that appear before him; it is not unusual for offenders to thank him for placing trust in them and allowing them to prove themselves to the court and the community. His work with the West Chester Area School District Board and the Chester County Opportunities Industrialization Center further rounds out his holistic perspective of serving those in need and the importance of education – an equalizer, as he puts it – in society.
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As sitting judges, Analisa and Bret are building bridges within the community, promoting effective alternatives to incarceration, and emphasizing the importance of treatment along with appropriate sentencing. They recognize that the dignity of the bench is earned by being compassionate and flexible to those who appear before them. Their demonstrated judicial experience will be a refreshing change on the Court of Common Pleas.

Chester County Commissioners Candidates

The three-member Board of Commissioners is the chief governing body of Chester County; the Commissioners are responsible for policy making, fiscal management, and the administration of county affairs. No more than two Commissioners can be from the same party; never before have Democrats held a majority on the Board. Josh Maxwell and Marian Moskowitz are the qualified candidates with forward-looking policies and priorities that will make history and put two Democrats on the Board of Commissioners at the same time.
Josh Maxwell is no stranger to making history. At 26, he was elected as Downingtown’s youngest mayor and is now serving in his third term. His fresh perspective and energy have brought considerable wins to his town, especially in the area of infrastructure and public transit. Josh views his public service as a unique opportunity to help people today and in perpetuity. He approaches issues with an eye towards ensuring investments made today will continue to benefit tomorrow’s generation. His work with USAID informs his policies for smart development, and he’s not afraid to roll up his sleeves and negotiate with the big players to achieve the best possible outcome for those he serves. His track record of fiscal management and growth will set the stage for success as a Commissioner.
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Marian Moskowitz is a longtime resident of Chester County. As a local developer, Marian understands the importance of responsible investment and revitalization. Reimagining and preserving the historic landscape fosters a sense of pride in our communities, while also providing significant opportunities for repurposing of facilities to address local needs. Marian oversaw the award-winning conversion of an abandoned factory in Phoenixville into a one-of-a-kind education and business center. She is an advocate for improved infrastructure and increased public transportation service within the county. As a Commissioner, Marian’s unique perspective as a developer and her knack of thinking outside the box on community development projects will serve Chester County well.
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Josh and Marian are each proven leaders who will bring fresh ideas to the Board of Commissioners, ensuring that Chester County is at the forefront of growth and development and is building a legacy that will be enjoyed by future generations.