Maxwell announces run for State Rep.

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Downingtown mayor becomes second Democrat seeking 74th seat

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

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Josh Maxwell

DOWNINGTOWN — And then there were two.

Democrat Josh Maxwell, the Mayor of Downingtown, officially announced Tuesday that he would be a candidate for State Representative in the newly created 74th District in 2014, joining Caln Commissioner Joshua Young in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Republican Harry Lewis Jr. is expected to formally announce his candidacy Wednesday.

The new 74th District includes Caln, Coatesville, Downingtown, East Caln, East Fallowfield, Modena, Parkesburg, South Coatesville, Sadsbury and Valley.

Maxwell, who was first elected mayor in 2009, cited his humble roots and continued failures of the state legislature to address the pressing issues of the state.

“After growing up in a twin on Jefferson Avenue with my brother and two sisters, I understand what it means to have to work hard to make ends meet,” Maxwell said in a statement, issued Tuesday. “A top-tier education system and sustainable economic growth can make a difference for our families. In order to meet these challenges and secure a brighter future for our community we need strong leadership that can bring results. That leadership is lacking in Harrisburg, which is why I proudly announce that I will be running for State Representative.”

Maxwell, a Downingtown High School graduate and current board member for the Downingtown Community Education Foundation, said that education is one of his top priorities — and if elected, he will serve as an advocate for the 74th District’s schools.

“Creating more opportunities for working families and businesses starts with two things: a strong, properly funded School District and an environment conducive to strong economic growth that allows businesses to open, hire and grow,” Maxwell said.

Among his accomplishments as mayor, Maxwell points to having worked to restart the Downingtown Main Street Association and later served as president of the organization.

In his campaign announcement, Maxwell revealed a number of formal endorsements including: County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone, Former State Representative Paul Drucker and a number of elected or former officials from Caln (Commissioner Lorraine Tindaro), Valley (Patrice Proctor, Board of Supervisors chair, Supervisor Kathy O’Doherty and Joe Sciandra, Supervisor-elect), Sadsbury, South Coatesville (former long-time Mayor James Kennedy), Downingtown (Borough Council President Anthony Gazzerro, Council Member Alex Rakoff, and Member-elect Patricia McGlone)  and Coatesville (Joe Hamrick, City Council Vice President).

An influential local religious leader, Pastor Randall Harris, the President of the Coatesville Minister’s Alliance also endorsed Maxwell, Tuesday.

“He represents the best of our values,” Harris said in a statement. “His humble upbringing and focus on making our community better give him the right credentials to help the people that need it the most.”

Cozzone — the highest ranking Democrat in county office — cited Maxwell’s work as mayor as part of her reason to support him

“I have seen what Josh Maxwell’s passion, dedication and energy has brought to the Downingtown community,” she said. “A fresh approach from somebody who understands community development is exactly what our Commonwealth needs. I am convinced that Josh Maxwell is the best choice to represent Chester County.”

Drucker, who previously represented the 167th District, said he’s seen Maxwell work well to create common ground and partnerships, an important skill in Harrisburg.

“I have seen what Mayor Maxwell has been able to do by building partnerships in the Downingtown community,” Drucker said. “His hardworking, positive attitude is exactly what Harrisburg needs. I fully support Josh Maxwell’s candidacy for the 74th State House seat.”

Another significant endorsement came from David McLimans, president of the Chester County AFL-CIO.

“Josh Maxwell’s humble upbringing and dedication to working families is apparent each and every time I have had the opportunity to speak with him,” McLimans said. “Josh Maxwell is cut from the kind of cloth we need our legislators come from. I believe in Josh Maxwell, and I fully support his candidacy for State Representative.”

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Great so now he won the position for Mayor of Downingtown and he is going to leave the residents high and dry ??? Why run for an office you have no desire to keep?? This is a travesty to the residents.