Delaware County Councilmembers-elect

Democrats (from left) Elaine Paul Schaefer, Monica Taylor and Christine Reuther celebrate their sweep of the three open seats on the Delaware County Council. Their win flips the majority on the council for the first time in county history. They celebrated at the Democratic election night party on Tuesday in Swarthmore. (Emily Cohen for WHYY)

For the first time in history, Democrats will lead Delaware County.

Monica Taylor, who is African-American; Elaine Paul Schaefer and Christine Reuther all appeared to be winning the County Council race at 11 p.m. Tuesday, giving Democrats all five seats on the County Council. And Democrat Jack Stollsteimer appeared to be winning the District Attorney race, unseating incumbent Katayoun Copeland.

“Tonight, we achieved the impossible,” said U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon at a victory celebration at the Inn at Swarthmore. “We have worked extremely hard for this moment and now we have a majority on the Delaware Council and a Democratic District Attorney. This is a magnificent.”

When the Democrats called the election, Taylor, the first African-American woman ever elected to the council, led the way with 81,699 votes. She was followed by Schaefer (80,392) and Reuther (79,721). Mike Morgan led the trio of Republicans with 66,898 votes. He was followed by Kelly D. Colvin with 66,811 and James H. Raith (65,826).

“What an honor to represent you on this day, this night,” Taylor said to a crowd of a couple hundred in a ballroom. “This says great things about Delaware County. It says that we are headed in the right direction and that you believed in us. Thank you for knocking on all of those doors and the late nights you worked hard. Thank you so much!”

Taylor, Schaefer and Reuther will join Democrats Kevin Madden and Brian Zidek on the County Council. Madden and Zidek won election in 2017 to become the first Democrats elected to the County Council since the Home Rule Charter was passed in the mid-1970s.

The three seats were previously held by Republicans. However, John McBlain and Colleen Morrone both served their maximum two terms. A third Republican, Michael Culp decided not to seek re-election.

Stollsteimer, a progressive reformer who has also been a federal prosecutor, held an approximately 3,700-vote advantage over Copeland with more than 80% of the vote counted. Stollsteimer’s campaign focused heavily on criminal justice reform, specifically eliminating the cash bail system and taking steps to reduce mass incarceration, issues that disproportionately affect the poor and people of color.

“We are all winners tonight," said Stollsteimer, who was significantly outspent by his opponent. “For too long there have been double standards and justice for the few and not the many. We are in position to do what should have been being done for years — providing justice equally for all of the people of Delaware County.”

For years, Delaware County has been a Republican stronghold. However, voter demographics have been changing, especially in the last two years. The county now has about 33,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans.

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