Dear Friends-

I am honored to have been reelected to represent Pennsylvania’s 19th Senatorial District 

in the state legislature. Throughout this campaign, it has been a pleasure to meet and talk with so many of you, to reconnect with old friends and to make many new ones.

After a long day of campaigning, Henry could hardly stay awake for our victory celebration.

Of course, this achievement would not have been possible without the determination, commitment and hard work of an army volunteers and supporters throughout our region. I must also recognize the tireless efforts of my campaign staff, especially our coordinator, Fran Pierce. Your support and hard work is deeply appreciated. Thank you!

Finally, I must recognize my loving wife, Margo, for putting up with my extremely hectic and demanding schedule over the past few months. A life in public service is never easy, but a loving and supportive family make it all the more worthwhile.

Folks, today I am glad to say we succeeded and I am honored to continue to serve as your state Senator and your voice in Harrisburg. I look forward to working with you over the next four years to meet challenges ahead and build a better, brighter future for Pennsylvania.



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Campaign Update…

Dear Friends-

We are coming into the final stretch of the campaign. I want to take this opportunity to update you on a few matters.

First, I hope things are returning to normal for you and your family following Hurricane Sandy and the storm that hit our region Monday and Tuesday. By and large, our region seems to have been spared a majority of the flooding and damage, but many of our neighboring counties and states were not so lucky. If you are still without power be sure to report it to PECO, and feel free to contact me if you require any additional assistance.

On the campaign front, we have just under a week left until the big day and there are still plenty of opportunities left for volunteers to get involved. So far, everyone has done an incredible job and I am routinely amazed by the energy, dedication and commitment of my volunteers and support staff. Thank you and keep up the good work!

Finally, for those of your who may not have heard, we recently achieved a major milestone in the treatment of dogs, cats and other pet animals in Pennsylvania. The legislature passed and the governor signed the House version of Daniel’s Law (HB2630), legislation to put an end to the carbon monoxide gassing of dogs and cats in Pennsylvania. It has been a long battle, but through the support of my colleagues in the legislature and the grassroots efforts of supporters throughout the Commonwealth and the nation, we managed to get it done in the final days of this legislative session. 

The new law bans carbon monoxide gas chambers, as well as methods of euthanasia such as high altitude decompression chambers, drowning, and gassing with chloroform, ether, halothane or fluothane. It also applies to pet rabbits, mice, rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

This is a major step in the right direction for Pennsylvania, as we continue to recognize that how we treat our pets and animals is indicative of how we treat each other as human beings.



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New Television Commercial…

Dear Friends-

You will be seeing Henry and I coming to the small screen in the next few weeks. We had fun shooting our new commercial, called “The Dinniman Difference,” in downtown West Chester and at the Stroud Preserve in East Bradford.

We hope you enjoy the commercial. It will air on select channels on Comcast Cable and Verizon FiOS. We aimed to make an upbeat alternative to some of the typical campaign advertisements that circulate during this time of year. And as you can see, Henry continues to steal the limelight!

Let me know what you think by e-mailing me at



P.S.  – Special thanks to all the volunteers and supporters who took the time to make this commercial possible. You guys are the real stars of my campaign!

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Get Your Signs…

Dear Friends-

Every campaign I’m amazed by how many supporters put up my signs on their front lawns and yards. Of course, signs don’t win elections, but as a candidate it is nice to see your “territory” established and it gives you a boost to come across them in all the corners of your district. Here are a few out I came across in picturesque West Vincent Township.

Thanks to everyone who is supporting my reelection and showing their colors with lawn signs, pins and bumper stickers. If you are interested in a obtaining some of yourself, your friends, family or neighbors, please contact my campaign headquarters and we’ll be glad to arrange a pickup of drop off.



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My, How Times Have Changed…

Dear Friends-

Recently, I came across these mailers from the late state Representative Sam Morris’s campaigns in the 1970s. They clearly illustrate how much election season has changed in our Commonwealth and our nation.

The simple postcards are type-written and include a brief message from his wife, Eleanor, along with brief recipes for apple sauce cookies and corn pudding! In an age of extreme partisanship, negative advertising and bare-knuckle campaigns, sometime I’d think we’d all do better to look back at the example set by Sam and Eleanor. And if anyone is interested in trying the recipes please let me know how they turn out (Eleanor always was an excellent cook). I’m hoping Margo will whip me up a batch of the apple sauce cookies!

On a side note, for those of you not familiar with the Sam and Eleanor Morris, they were fixtures in Chester County politics and the regional conservation movement for several decades. Sam served the 155th District of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from 1971 to 1978 and then again from 1981 to 1990. He was the driving force behind several important farmland preservation measures, including the Clean and Green Act of 1974 and the Right-to-Farm Act of 1982.

Together, Sam and Eleanor made an amazing team that exemplified our locaL values of public service, stewardship of the land and the preservation of our natural resources. The Morrises co-founded the French & Pickering Creek Conservation Trust in 1967, and Eleanor served as its president from 1972 to 2000, during which time it permanently preserved more than 6,500 acres.

Today, the Morris’s legacy lives on. Recently, I had the honor of working to pass legislation to rename a bridge on Route 100 near their Lundale Farm in their honor. And the Morris children, in accordance with their parents’ wishes, have established a nonprofit organization on the farm, Lundale Farm, Inc. The land will be farmed organically through land-lease agreements with several local farms and CSAs.

Sam and Eleanor Morris were dear friends and my mentors in public service. When you drive through our region and see the acres upon acres of farmland conservation and beautiful open space, please remember everything they have done for Chester County and Pennsylvania.



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Campaign Update and Endorsements

Dear Friends-

Election Day is now just over 40 days away and I want to keep you up to date as things begin to kick into high gear with my campaign for reelection.

First, if you have not noticed already, we’ve opened up a new campaign office located at 415 Eagleview Blvd. in the Eagleview Corporate Center in Exton. New volunteers are coming on board daily and there are still plenty of opportunities to get involved. If you are interested in helping out, e-mail me at or call (610) 458-1005. Your assistance and hard work is greatly appreciated.

In addition, various endorsements continue to roll in. I can’t tell you how honored I am to receive the support of these exceptional groups and organizations. Their backing reflects my values, priorities and achievements as your state Senator. Most recently, I’ve been endorsed by the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, the Chester County Police Chiefs Association and Humane PA. I want to thank all of these individuals and organizations for their ongoing support and I am incredibly grateful to have made so many loyal friends in our region through my work in the legislature.

Stay tuned to this page for more updates and info on how to get involved.



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Opening of the Innovation Center at Eagleview

Speaking at the opening of the Innovation Center at Eagleview. Photo by

Dear Friends –

Recently, Chester County opened its first incubator for companies in the life sciences industry. The Innovation Center at Eagleview, a partnership between the Hankin Group and Chester County Economic Development Council, will provide new, flexible space for entrepreneurs looking to launch companies in the biopharma sector.

As I mentioned in a previous post, earlier this summer I organized a conference for officials, executives and employees in the biopharma industry, one of the major business sectors that keeps our region strong.  The aim of the conference was to coordinate a multifaceted response to the series of changes and economic shifts that have resulted in the consolidation and outsourcing of research and development jobs in the biopharma industry, many of which are located in our area. The fact is that many of the same companies that outsource and layoff employees are willing to hire the same people if they start their own firms to perform research and development work.

That is where the Innovation Center at Eagleview comes in. By providing short term, flexible leases with office and laboratory space for entrepreneurs and their companies, the center will give entrepreneurs an opportunity to get their own companies off the ground without having to afford large offices with expensive equipment and lab space.

A life sciences incubator was one of the many suggestions endorsed by participants at my Biopharma Conference. But there is more work ahead. We are not going to sit back and let an industry that has been the backbone of our region’s prosperity and economic success languish. We are going to adapt and give entrepreneurs the tools and support they need to succeed!

In fact, I am also currently working with the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) to develop a special initiative to specifically assist startup companies in the biopharma industry with the business skills and know-how needed to take products from concept to fruition.

Despite the challenges we’ve already weathered and in light of our continued steps toward recovery, it’s is an incredibly exciting time for businesses and entrepreneurs in Chester and Montgomery counties.



P.S. – Special thanks to Bob Williams of for photos.

The ribbon-cutting of the new Innovation Center at Eagleview. Photo by

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July 12th Fundraiser & Photos

Dear Friends -

Margo, Henry and I had a great time catching up with old friends and making new ones at Franklin Commons on Thursday.  Thank you to everyone who came out, as well as those who could not make it but sent contributions. As always, your generosity is deeply appreciated it.

It was a fun evening of reminiscing on our past successes, talking about the challenges ahead and hearing your thoughts, ideas and views on keeping Chester and Montgomery Counties growing strong. Our shared vision and values are what make this such a great place to live and one of the many reasons why I am so proud to be your voice in Harrisburg.

I also want to take a moment to recognize the hard work of all of the volunteers who made it possible, especially David and Marian Moskowitz who opened up Franklin Commons to us and put together a top-notch affair with excellent catering.

I’ve posted some pictures below. If you are interested in obtaining copies, please e-mail me at

Thanks again,

With Phoenixville Mayor Leo Scoda.

Saying hello to Henry.

As usual, my poodle is the life of the party!

Chatting with Emmett Grucci of Phoenixville.

Having a laugh with Phil Glick.

Catching up with Buddy Rhoades (center).

Henry, entranced by an unattended plate.

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Budget Update and Other News

Dear Friends,

I just want to take a moment to update you on the progress of this year’s budget and my other recent activities throughout Chester and Montgomery counties.



Budget Update

As you may know, the Senate recently passed an alternate spending plan that restores hundreds of millions of dollars to next year’s budget for education, vital human services and important environmental programs without increasing taxes.

Senate Bill 1466 restores $245 million to higher education, more than $100 million to basic education, $12 million for early learning programs and libraries and $84 million to county-provided social services – some of the areas that were targeted for significant and widespread cuts by Governor Corbett.

The Senate budget also restores $19 million for the Keystone Parks, Recreation and Conservation fund, a program that Corbett aimed to eliminate, despite its success in supporting and preserving more than 3,000 parks, open spaces and recreational area throughout the Commonwealth.

In addition, the Senate plan restores $59 million in funding for life sciences through the CURE program from the Tobacco Settlement fund.

We could not have made this progress without the significant outpouring of support for public education that was on display at the rally held in May outside the historic Chester County Courthouse, as well as the efforts of thousands of other individuals and organizations that lobbied the state lawmakers against these cuts.

However, the battle continues with the governor and many in the statehouse trying to reverse many of the cuts we have restored. Earlier today, the governor and Republican leaders announced that they have reached an agreement on a spending plan, but have not yet released any details. Next week (the week of June 25th) will determine the final budget, and I’ll have another update for your then.

Pipeline Progress

You may have also heard about my efforts to keep our local streams and waterways clean and safe from the potential dangers of natural gas pipelines.

Recently, Senator Rafferty and I succeeded in persuading the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to give the public more time to comment on a natural gas company’s plan to install a new pipeline across the Brandywine Creek. DEP officials have expanded the deadline for public comment on the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company’s river-crossing plan through a July public hearing, which they also agreed to hold per our request.

Earlier this spring, Transco formally asked permission to replace pipeline crossing the Brandywine Creek’s Ludwig’s Run tributary by use of the open-cut/coffer dam method – a construction strategy rejected by DEP officials in 2009. The new pipeline would cross the section of the Brandywine Creek’s east branch approximately .8 mile upstream of the Downingtown Regional Water Authority on land located in East Brandywine and East Caln.

It is crucial that we have the time to study the implications of this pipeline project and explore alternative methods to ensure that our pristine streams are preserved and that our water supply is protected.

Again, the support of dozens of environmental advocacy organizations, local government officials and residents at our two meetings in May was a key factor in getting DEP to expand the comment period and hold a local hearing.

Medal of Honor Grove

I also recently had the opportunity to take part in a unique and historic event at the Medal of Honor Grove. If you are not familiar with the Grove, it is truly one of Chester County’s best kept secrets. The 52-acre Grove, located at Freedoms Foundation’s headquarters just off Route 23 in Phoenixville, is the nation’s oldest memorial site dedicated to Medal of Honor Recipients. It is divided into one-acre plots for each state, as well as Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C. and a plot for immigrants who received the medal but were not American citizens. Each plot features an obelisk and metal plaques set in the ground, honoring Medal of Honor recipients dating back to the Civil War.

I got involved with the Grove in the summer of 2010 because the site had fallen into disrepair and there were questions about its future. In response, I organized a massive community cleanup and more than 1,000 residents and volunteers came out to pitch in.

In turn, last year community leaders and several Medal of Honor recipients joined with the Freedoms Foundation to form The Friends of the Medal of Honor Grove, a nonprofit organization that maintains and cares for the site.

The Friends organization has been active in raising funds for the Grove’s upkeep and taking on a series of site improvements and enhancements. One of those was the addition of the names of 35 posthumous Medal of Honor recipients from Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq that were damaged or missing. The names were enshrined in the Grove at a touching ceremony in May that was attended by the families of several of the heroes being honored, as well as six of their fellow Medal of Honor recipients. It was an inspirational day and a poignant reminder of the sacrifices so many have made for our freedom and way of life.

BioPharma Conference

In addition, I also recently organized a conference on changes and restructuring in the BioPharma industry, one of the major business sectors that keeps our region strong. I was joined by dozens of representatives from some of the many biotechnology, life science and pharmaceutical companies that call our region home, like Morphotek, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Nuron Biotech and Endo Pharmaceuticals.
The conference, which was hosted by West Chester University, focused on responding to shifts in the economy and BioPharma industry with new approaches and initiatives that prepare companies and employees for the challenges of tomorrow.

It was an incredibly productive morning, with a panel discussion and several small group discussions on pertinent issues to the industry. I am working on compiled a report that should be available shortly for those who could not make it.
As I said at the conference, Chester County’s economy depends on two farms – agribusiness and biopharming. While we continue to support the mushroom industry and traditional agricultural, it is imperative that we work together to develop solutions and approaches that deliver positive results for the Biopharma industry. Simply put, we cannot afford to wait while mergers, downsizing and outsourcing take a toll on local companies that have been key to our economic success.

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Primary Election Day & Photos

Dear Friends,

Henry and I had a great time witnessing democracy in action on Primary Election Day. Keeping in touch with old friends and and meeting new ones is one of the many reasons I love my job.

Another reason is that I love a challenge and from my conversations with many of you, it’s clear have no shortage of them ahead. Be it protecting our natural places and waterways, like the Brandywine Creek, from the potential dangers of natural gas pipelines, or ensuring that our public schools remain some of the best in the state, or reforming the business climate to propel our economic recovery – there are always more challenges on the horizon.

Together we’ve already made great strides and I am now counting on your support to keep Chester and Montgomery counties growing and to keep our future bright.

Thanks to everyone who came out to vote, not to mention the many volunteers and poll workers who pitched in. I deeply appreciate your ongoing support as we move into a busy summer and victory on the fall.

By my count, we have 194 days until the November 6 Election.



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