Although years without presidential elections don’t have quite the allure as years that do, voters should take heed in the election offerings this fall as full slates for a variety of county offices are up for grabs.
Candidates for the Republican Party include a union steamfitter/business owner, a retired Magisterial District Judge, a few attorneys, an accountant and one of two female sheriffs in Pennsylvania.
Incumbent Dave White and John J. Perfetti are the two Republicans seeking positions on Delaware County Council.
White has served on county council since 2012 when he was appointed to fulfill the unexpired term of Jack Whelan, who became county District Attorney.
During that time, he’s served on the Heroin Task Force, focusing on initiatives to equip police with Narcan, install medicine drop boxes in police stations and hiring two Certified Recovery Specialists to respond to overdose victims.
White is also a member of the Delaware County Panic Alarm School System that installed emergency buttons in every school in the county.
He also is a liaison to the county’s Department of Human Services and its Library Services.
Previously, he served as a Ridley Township commissioner and served as a board member and coach for the Kedron Youth Association.
White, who is a Steamfitter Union Local 420 member, has owned DWD Mechanical Contractors Inc. for 17 years and has a degree from Penn State University in construction and mechanical management.
White credited his parents for teaching him and his 13 siblings a strong work ethic and giving back to the community from being a Little League coach to serving in county government.
“If elected I hope to build on my successes during my first term on county council, which include four straight years of no county tax increases, adding 25,000 new private sector jobs and the opening of 500 new businesses in Delaware County,” he said.
White said he’d also continue to implement the county Open Space Plan and trail network.
“On the issue of public safety,” he said, “as chair of the Heroin Task Force, I will continue to work to educate the public about addiction, provide access to treatment and help families and individuals who are struggling with the impacts of addiction.
“Delaware County is a great place to live, work, raise a family and operate a business and I will fight to keep it that way,” he said.
Perfetti retired as Magisterial District Judge for Aldan, Clifton Heights and Lansdowne after serving in the position for 33 years.
He is also a real estate agent with Micozzie Realtors in Aldan and was co-founder of Lump’s Bar & Restaurant. He also was controller for M&M Landscaping in Morton for five years and director of operations for the Hospital Financing and System Inc. in Wayne.
From 1978 to 1982, he served as chief deputy director of the county’s Office of Judicial Support.
Perfetti has held various memberships in judges’ associations and is a member of the Clifton Heights Lion’s Club, the Knights of Columbus De La Salle and the Italian-American Columbus Club.
He and his wife live in Clifton Heights and have three children.
Perfetti shared his motivation for seeking a spot on county council.
“I decided to run because I saw an opportunity to continue to serve residents in a different capacity than when I served as a Magisterial District Judge,” he said. “As a judge, I found myself dealing with a number of issues after they occurred. Running for county council provides me with the opportunity to address issues like the opioid crisis and the need to create more local jobs in a proactive way.”
He said his experience as a judge would provide a unique perspective for issues related to drug addiction, crime and public safety.
His priorities include keeping county-level taxes low, working to address the opioid crisis, pushing for new job creation and economic growth and bringing back more blue-collar and manufacturing jobs while attracting new companies in technology, health care and hospitality.
Common Pleas Court Judge
John J. “Jack” Whelan has been Delaware County District Attorney since January 2012 and is now running for a seat on Common Pleas Court.
He has been practicing law for 25 years and led the firm of Whelan, Doyle & Pressman LLC, which specialized in civil litigation, municipal representation and decedent estates.
He also served on Delaware County Council from 2005 through 2011.
As District Attorney, he established the Delaware County Veterans Justice Initiative, which created a Veterans Treatment Court for the post-service needs of veterans who entered the criminal justice system; the Anti-Violence Task Force; and the Delaware County Heroin Task Force to address the heroin and opioid epidemic’s impact here in the county.
Whelan was also appointed co-chair of the Pennsylvania Department of Drug & Alcohol Naloxone Law Enforcement Advisory Group.
He also expanded the Senior Exploitation Unit during his tenure to investigate crimes and raise awareness about illegal acts against seniors.
Whelan has received numerous awards for his service, including a Citizenship Award from the Ridley Township Board of Commissioners and the Citizens Rime Commission Award for Bravery for foiling a robbery and stopping a stabbing at a local pharmacy in 2008.
He lives in Ridley Township with his wife and their four children.
Whelan said he’s seeking the judge position as there are term limits for being District Attorney and he’d like to continue serving the residents of Delaware County.
“As judge, I will use the skills I’ve gained from over 30 years of experience in criminal and civil litigation and as District Attorney to ensure that our residents receive fair and impartial justice, delivered promptly and with integrity,” he said.
Fairness and promptness are among Whelan’s top items for those serving on the bench.
“I will never forget that my role as judge is to serve the people first,” Whelan said. “I will start court on time, and be attentive and courteous to all those involved in the cases that come before me. I will schedule cases promptly and work to avoid the senseless court delays that can frustrate our residents. Finally, I will make sure that every person receives a fair and impartial hearing.”
Register of Wills
Elizabeth Naugton-Beck, an attorney and partner for Swartz-Campbell LLC in Media, is running for the county Register of Wills post. She is also solicitor for Aston Township and Destination Delco.
She was a judicial law clerk for Delaware County Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Burr from January 2000 to February 2001 and previously had served as an attorney for VHA Inc. in Berwyn, Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin in Newtown Square, and Mannino, Walsh & Griffith in Philadelphia.
She received her Juris Doctorate from Widener University and is admitted to practice in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
The Nether Providence resident shared why she wants this position.
“Serving as the Register of Wills would be an ideal opportunity for me to combine my interest in community service and my career as an attorney,” she said. “The register conducts hearings on contested wills and in this capacity, my 26 years of experience as a practicing attorney would be directly applicable.”
Having spent 20 years volunteering for organizations throughout the county, she said it’s important for an elected official to understand and fairly represent all the municipalities in Delaware County.
Among her top priorities for the office are running an efficient, responsive office, working to implement technology upgrades so services can be accessed remotely, and managing the office within the budget and having transparency.
Robert Kane, a Certified Public Accountant in Newtown Square, is running for the county controller position.
A St. Joseph’s University graduate with a degree in accounting, he has been a licensed Certified Public Accountant since 1988.
The Havertown resident also serves as chairman of the township zoning hearing board and as vice president of the Manoa Fire Co. Board of Directors.
He served as board member or coach in various local youth baseball leagues and contributed to Autism Delaware.
“I am running for the position of Delaware County Controller because I want to use my 30 years of experience as a Certified Public Accountant and businessman to ensure our tax dollars are spent in a fiscally responsible manner and that spending is monitored utilizing sound and well-established accounting principles,” he said. “Here in Delaware County, we have now gone four straight years without a county property tax increase – that doesn’t happen by accident. I believe my skill set and background will be valuable in helping to keep the county budget under control and taxes low.”
He said his priorities upon election would be to review the county’s accounting policies and to ensure there are proper internal financial controls in place, He said he also would conduct audits of different departments to identify cost savings.
Mary McFall Hopper has been Delaware County’s sheriff since January 2014.
There she manages the officers and deputies who are responsible for the safety of the courtrooms and transport the prisoners to and from the prisons to the courthouse. She also is responsible for the civilian staff who handle the processing of foreclosure and sale of real estate, evictions, protection from abuse orders and permits to carry firearms.
Hopper also facilitated community outreach through providing a day of Christmas shopping for children to buy gifts for family, a mitten tree for the county Community Action Agency and visiting hospitalized children during Easter week.
She was appointed to the Delaware County Women’s Commission in 2012 and served as a councilwoman for Ridley Park from 2002 to 2007.
“I am seeking re-election as sheriff because I want to build on my first-term successes that included modernizing communications with residents and launching a new mobile app that allows residents to view the area’s Most Wanted list, obtain information and share details about crimes,” she said, adding she’s proud to be one of two female sheriffs in Pennsylvania.
She said among her priorities are continuing to educate residents about what the sheriff’s office does here.
“In addition,” Hopper said, “sheriff’s deputies face the same dangers ... as other law enforcement personnel and I’m going to continue to work to ensure that they have the training and tools they need so they can come home safe to their families every day.”