2023 Democratic Candidates
The 2023 primary election will take place on May 16. Meet our endorsed Democratic candidates!
PA Supreme Court
Dan McCaffery has served as a judge on the Pennsylvania Superior Court since 2020. Previously, he served as a judge on the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia.
After serving on active duty with the First Cavalry Division, he was one of a few select soldiers chosen from the military to attend the prestigious United States Military Academy at West Point Prep School. Upon being honorably discharged from the Army, Judge McCaffery attended Temple University Law School on a veteran’s scholarship. In 1991, McCaffery became an Assistant District Attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. He quickly distinguished himself as a top-flight prosecutor assigned to the major trials unit, prosecuting over fifty jury trials and a thousand bench trials. McCaffery is currently the supervising judge for wiretaps and was selected by the Supreme Court to serve on the Court of Judicial Discipline.
PA Superior Court
(Vote for 2)
Lane’s law career is defined by her dedication to serve her community. Early in her career, she served as a judicial law clerk and as a Certified Legal Intern with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office. Lane also represented indigent families involved in various matters as a Certified Child Advocate Attorney. She then went on to work as a major trial attorney for the Defender Association of Philadelphia where her primary duty was to litigate complex criminal jury and waiver trials for under served adults and juveniles in Philadelphia’s criminal justice system.
Timika Lane currently serves as chief legal counsel to State Senator and Democratic Whip Anthony H. Williams. She also served as the Democratic Executive Director for the Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee. In her role as legal counsel, Lane assesses the constitutionality of proposed and current legislation; provides legal advice and guidance regarding the legal implications of legislation, regulations, and administrative policies, and advises Pennsylvania Senators and staff on legislation presented for vote in Senate Committees. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Philadelphia Bar Association and has legal certifications as a child advocate and arbitrator.
Jill knows firsthand that justice is served only when every person – regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or income – has fair and equal access to the courts. She is running for the Pennsylvania Superior Court to ensure that justice in Pennsylvania truly is for ALL. After graduating at the top of her class from Duquesne University School of Law, Jill chose to work for the nonprofit organization KidsVoice, before spending a decade on the Superior and Supreme Court where she drafted over 500 decisions of the very kind she will decide as Judge. Jill currently resides with her husband, two young children, and rescue dog in Pittsburgh, where she is an active volunteer in her children’s classrooms and in her community.
PA Commonwealth Court
Judge Matt Wolf is the Supervising Civil Judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court. As Supervising Judge, he guided the court through the pandemic; he started the heralded eviction diversion program, and he has focused the court on equity and access to justice.
Judge Wolf is currently in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, and served on active duty in Afghanistan in 2008. In country, he served as a Foreign Claims Officer and Rule of Law advisor to the Afghan National Police on legal matters.
Since 2021, Judge Wolf has been working with the National Center for State Courts through a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts. He is the only Judge for Commonwealth Court in this election. In making changes to court policy, Judge Wolf listens to both sides of cases as well as all court stakeholders who should have a say in how the court is run.
County Court of Common Pleas
(Vote for 5)
Deb Ryan has dedicated her entire 24-year career as an attorney to public service as a prosecutor, advocate for children, and as District Attorney. In 2019, she was elected as the first woman and first Democrat DA in our county’s history. Deb has successfully handled thousands of cases in the Court of Common Pleas including homicides, child abuse, domestic violence, and sexual assaults. As a judge, she will be committed to the integrity of the courts, the protection of individual rights, and the due process of law.
Judge Forzato is currently on the County Court of Common Pleas. She was appointed by the Governor and overwhelmingly confirmed by the bipartisan Pennsylvania Senate, to fill the vacancy left when Judge Jacqueline Cody took senior status early. Since Judge Forzato’s appointment to the Court of Common Pleas in 2022, she has presided over numerous matters in the criminal, civil, and orphans court divisions.
Prior to taking the bench, Judge Forzato was the first woman to ever to serve as Chester County Solicitor, which is the chief legal officer of the County. As the County Solicitor, she was responsible for overseeing all of the civil litigation impacting the County. She also provided legal advice to Chester County Commissioners and their senior staff. Before that, she worked alongside Governor Shapiro for eight years. She was on his legal team when he was a County Commissioner, and then went with him to the Attorney General’s Office.
With a legacy of serving the Chester County community, Sheriff Maddox has protected our families and has been a tireless advocate fighting for the legal rights of marginalized individuals for more than 25 years. Fredda has represented the accused and the accuser, the abused and the abuser, the privileged and the poor equally and provides a rare, balanced perspective of the court to provide the fairness, compassion and experience needed as a Judge.
Thomas (Tip) McCabe focused his law practice in Chester County, first as an Assistant Public Defender, and later as court appointed counsel for the indigent. As a private practitioner, he has handled matters ranging from civil litigation, landlord/tenant matters, guardianships, land use and municipal law, juvenile law, appellate law, and pro bono custody matters through the Chester County Bar Association’s Access to Justice Program. Thomas served as Solicitor for the Elk Township Zoning Hearing Board and as an Arbitration Panel Member deciding civil matters less than $50,000.00. He is Chair of CCBA Criminal Defense Section, and Co-Chair of CCBA Civil Litigation Section.
Thomas wants to bring his broad legal experience, and Public Defender perspective to continue to serve the people of Chester County as Court of Common Pleas Judge. He lives in Newlin Township with his wife and two daughters.
While maintaining full-time employment as a child support conciliator, Sarah Black attended Widener University School of Law at night. She also clerked for two civil firms specializing in personal injury and contractual litigation. Upon graduation, she worked as a family law sole practitioner. She has been a public defender in Pennsylvania for fourteen years, the last nine of which have been at the Chester County Public Defender’s Office. As a practicing trial attorney appearing before judges and juries, certified to defend death penalty cases, she appears in the courtroom daily providing zealous advocacy to marginalized populations.
Sarah is heavily involved in community service projects in her hometown of West Chester, where she resides with her husband, Paul, and rescue dog, Jack.
(Vote for 2)
Commissioner Josh Maxwell leads with progressive values to advocate for working families, promote equality, and preserve the environment. As commissioner, his priorities have included the county’s first-ever employee group on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; a groundbreaking community-centered, values-based budgeting process; creating a mobile mental health crisis unit; numerous climate and open space incentives; and more.
A graduate of West Chester University and UPenn’s Fels Institute of Government, Josh lives in Downingtown with his wife, Blair.
Marian Moskowitz has dedicated her career to growing and strengthening Chester County. After four decades as a responsible local developer, she ran for Commissioner in 2019 because she believes that everyone deserves to live in a safe and prosperous community. As the first Democratic Chairwoman of the County Board of Commissioners, she’s delivered real results for Chester County.
Under Marian’s leadership, Chester County now has the lowest unemployment rate in the region, our economy was ranked in the top 10 percent of High Performing Communities, and we were named the healthiest place to live in the state. From preserving our open space to investing in local infrastructure, Marian has shown up for the people of Chester County.
County Row Offices
Chris started as a prosecutor at the Chester County DA’s Office in 2009, prosecuting a wide variety of cases. In 2015, he left the DA’s Office to become a federal prosecutor in Delaware. There he investigated and prosecuted social security fraud, high-level drug trafficking, kidnapping, and other violent offenses. Recently, Assistant United States Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. selected Chris and his team for the Criminal Division’s 2022 Distinguished Service Award, in recognition of their work on a cartel kidnapping case.
A Temple Law graduate, Chris currently works at Bellwoar Kelly, LLP. He lives in Willistown with his wife and two daughters.
In 2020, Kevin Dykes was sworn in as Chief Deputy Sheriff of the Chester County Sheriff’s Office. The 40-year law enforcement veteran serves the community with strong ethical leadership, protects people with fair policing and works to prevent crime through cooperative community response.
The graduate of the FBI National Academy has served as Chief of Chester County Detectives, Pennsylvania State Trooper, advisory board member of DVCCC’s Coaching Boys Into Men program, and “Top Gun” instructor.
Debbie Bookman was sworn in on January 2020 as Prothonotary. Since taking office Debbie has extended passport services to evening hours. Debbie has placed staff in roles that best suit their strength and interest, expanded bilingual services and increased diversity from 4% to 18%. Debbie prides herself on providing excellent community and customer services. She believes that when you are serving others it is often necessary to go the extra mile whenever possible. Customer service ultimately is the core of the Prothonotary’ s Office.
Michele Vaughn is Regional Director for the Pennsylvania Federation of Democratic Women and Chair of the Chester County Democratic Women’s Leadership Initiative, founded in 2015 to bring the issues that concern women, organized labor and working families to the political forefront. She was CCDC Vice-Chair from 2000-06 and Chair from 2006-14, and an East Whiteland Township Supervisor from 1998-2003. She is the current Chester County Register of Wills.
The Register of Wills probates wills and appoints estate representatives for decedents who die with or without a will. Regardless of where the death occurred, the decedent MUST have been a legal resident of Chester County at the time of death. The Register of Wills also serves as an agent for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for filing and payment of inheritance taxes.
A resident of Uwchlan Township for 32 years, Diane O’Dwyer was sworn in as Acting Recorder of Deeds on December 1, 2022. Prior to that, she served as Deputy Recorder for 3 years. Diane has been an active member of CCDC since 2004 and is currently a Democratic State Committee Member. She is a Board Member of the Housing Partnership of Chester County. Diane is proud of the solid reputation her office has built for excellence in public service.