Cozzone pledges to continue bipartisan work in bid for Lt. Gov.

Pin It

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

State Rep. Carolyn Comitta speaks during Tuesday’s formal announcement by County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone that she would run for Lt. Gov.

WEST CHESTER — County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone formally announced her candidacy for Lt. Governor, Tuesday, surrounded by supporters, friends and family on the steps of the historic old courthouse.

The formal decision to run come after weeks of speculation whether the long-time county commissioner would throw her hat into the ring and take on current Lt. Gov. Mike Stack — who has been embroiled in controversy over his and his wife’s treatment of state employees — as well as Aryana Berringer, a former area resident who challenged U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts in 2012, but has since moved to the greater Pittsburgh area.

Cozzone, a Democrat who was first elected Commissioner in 2007, speaking about her decision Monday, prior to the formal announcement, said she felt that Gov. Tom Wolf needs a partner who can work across the aisle as she has as a county Commissioner — and also someone who understands first-hand the implications of state policy decisions on counties, municipalities and school districts.

She noted during her event Tuesday that her professional career — she worked in finance for various companies before being elected to public office — gives her much in common with Wolf.

“Like Gov. Wolf, my background before running for public office is in the business world, Cozone said. “I have spent 10 years learning how real-world principles can be applied to government to improve the lives of our citizens.  I have also learned that governing is a unique skill requiring experience and practice. That is why I believe my balance of private and public sector experience will make me an asset to Gov. Wolf’s administration.”

A number of elected officials from the region and beyond came out to express support for Cozzone’s bid. Diane Marseglia, Bucks County Commissioner, Kevin Boozel, Butler County Commissioner and Ed Bustin, Bradford County Commissioner, were among the officials who came out to back Cozzone. Former West Chester Mayor and now State Rep. Carolyn Comitta (D-156) argued strongly for the need to have someone with Cozzone’s skill and background in Harrisburg.

“When I was mayor of West Chester, I learned that Kathi works very closely with all of us at the local level to make sure that we have a strong economy, that people are safe and that all of the county’s services are delivered effectively,” Comitta said. “I also learned that Kathi is committed to bipartisan collaboration. If you have a good idea and you want to move it forward, it doesn’t matter if it’s a Democratic or Republican idea: elected officials should work together to improve people’s lives.

Kathi has been all about working together, such as on criminal justice reform where she worked to create the WRAP Program which is helping women who have been incarcerated become productive members of our community again. I’m happy to be working with her in the legislature on implementing the recommendations of the Governor’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force, which Kathi served on last year to improve public safety. I’m so happy that Kathi has decided to take her efforts to the next level.  I’m very proud of Kathi and I am honored to endorse her.”

Cozzone pledged to continue her track record of bipartisanship if elected as Lt. Governor, but will also stand up for what is right.

“Too often, Harrisburg suffers – and by extension all Pennsylvanians suffer – from a lack of bipartisanship in Harrisburg,” she said. “I bring a unique record of working with my Republican colleagues in Chester County to serve the common good, regardless of political ideology or partisan concerns. That is not to say that I haven’t had my differences with the various Republican majorities I’ve served with.

“For instance, I called out partisan shenanigans when I successfully fought against relocating a polling place away from Lincoln University, a historically African-American institution.

“However, I have built relationships with my colleagues so that we have worked together for the benefit of our citizens. Imagine that! As Joe Biden said, ‘Republicans are our opposition, not our enemies.’ Whether it’s environmental protection, criminal justice reform or human service delivery, I have advanced some progressive priorities within a Republican government by combining those good relationships with strong arguments focused on outcomes, not ideology.”

Share this post:

Leave a Comment