Politics: Two Vying for 165th District

At least two candidates have thrown their hat in the ring to replace Rep. Bill Aldoph, who is retiring as representative of the 165th Legislative District.

Both Elaine Schaefer, a Radnor Democrat now serving as commissioner for Ward 4 and Springfield resident Alex Charleton, chief of staff to Sen. Tom McGarrigle, are running for Adolph’s seat.

Charleton, who was endorsed by the Republican Committees of Springfield, Maple, Radnor and Morton, is the former president of the Delaware Chamber of Commerce and has worked closely with entrepreneurs and small business owners.

“We are lucky to have a candidate running with real experience in state government,” said Al Brink, the chair of the Radnor GOP.

Schaefer, 50, a lawyer, is now serving her second term on the Radnor BOC and has also been its president for two terms. She was the first woman elected to that position.

Schaefer, chair of the open space committee, was instrumental in steering the board to purchase 71 acres at Ardrossan for open space preservation, was the co-founder and former president and executive director of the Radnor Conservancy. Over the years she’s been active in the parent teacher organizations and on the board of the Radnor Educational Foundation. She was a board member of the Radnor League of Women Voters.

“As Pennsylvania approaches seven months without a complete budget, it has become clear that our community is not being well represented amid the political gamesmanship in Harrisburg,” said Schaefer, of Newtown Square, in a written statement. “The issues that matter most to residents of this area are not partisan issues – full and fair funding of our public schools, preservation of the natural resources and few remaining open spaces for our health and recreation, support and consideration of both our small businesses and of our less fortunate residents, reasonable gun control so that our families can feel safe – progress on these issues has been held hostage by the partisan antics in the capitol.”

Schaefer also pointed to a fiscal turnaround in Radnor under her stewardship, after a period of deficit spending. Also, under her watch, the township initiated a fee for property owners, including nonprofits, to garner funds for stormwater management projects.

“Alex Charlton was born and raised in Delaware County and has worked extensively with small businesses,” said Colleen Caceci, a Springfield Republican committee member who nominated him. “His tenure at the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and his service as Senator McGarrigle’s chief of staff have given him an up-close look at the challenges facing job creators and what can be done in Harrisburg to address them. He knows the importance of low taxes, good schools and protecting our quality of life. It’s my pleasure to nominate him for the committee’s endorsement.”

Charlton, 35, said in a press release, “Better schools, more jobs, a sound quality of life for our families and a functional state government in Harrisburg, that’s working for the people of Delaware County. These are the things I want for my family and my community.”