County Dems support Kirkland’s mayoral campaign in Chester


State Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland, D-159, of Chester, gives a hug to Chester City Democratic Committee Chairwoman Livia Smith after Kirkland received the city endorsement to run for mayor. City Controller Edith Blackwell, back left, and Councilman Nafis Nichols, right, look on. Robert J. Gurecki — Daily Times


The Delaware County Democratic Party fully supports Thaddeus Kirkland in his campaign to become the next mayor of Chester, according to party Chairman David Landau.


Kirkland, along with incumbent city council members Nafis Nichols and Elizabeth Williams and Controller Edith Blackwell, received the endorsement of the Chester City Democratic Committee Sunday night, and Landau voiced the county party’s support Monday.


“The ticket that has the endorsement of the Chester committee will have the support of the county party,” Landau said. “I think Thaddeus Kirkland will be an excellent mayor.”


Landau also praised the work of Williams and Nichols, saying the latter has done a “remarkable job” on council in handling the city’s finances.


“No one can quarrel with the job that those two council candidates have done in the last two years,” he said.


Landau said the likely primary battle between Kirkland and fellow Democrat John Linder, the incumbent mayor, is unfortunate, but that he believes the move is what’s best for Chester. Linder is expected to announce his campaign for re-election later this week.


“No one wants to see a primary,” Landau said. “Some things need to be done in Chester and there is an agenda and plan to get them done.”


At Sunday night’s endorsement announcement, Livia Smith, chairwoman of the Chester City Democrats and a vice chairwoman of the Delaware County Democrats, said Linder had left the team elected in 2011. Democrats took control of city council and the mayor’s office in that election.


The Chester City Democrats are closely allied with the county party and Landau said the relationship is important.


“The Chester Democrats have a very close, mutually supportive relationship with the county party,” Landau said. “Chester is our largest Democratic community in the county.”


The county Democratic convention is scheduled for Feb. 22, while the city’s is set for Feb. 17.