Two of the three members of the Chester County Commission are not seeking reelection, leaving the board majority in contention.
Three Republicans and four Democrats are in next week's primaries, all of them thoughtful, community-oriented professionals.
Of the Republicans, The Inquirer endorses an incumbent commissioner, CAROL AICHELE, 57, of Tredyffrin, and TERENCE FARRELL, 59, of Lincoln University, a two-term county recorder of deeds.
The Aichele-Farrell team supports the county's continued investment in open space, bolstered by private funds; attracting employers to the county; and exploring more affordable housing options for young families and working people. Aichele also wants the county to consider hybrid cars and solar panels to fight global warming.
Independent Republican candidate Sandy Moser, 64, of East Brandywine, a previous commissioner candidate, is passionate about open space, sprawl prevention and community revitalization.
Among four strong Democratic contenders, The Inquirer endorses KEN KNICKERBOCKER, 51, of Parkesburg, and KATHI COZZONE, 44, of Uwchlan Township.
Knickerbocker, president of the Parkesburg Borough Council and a former Octorara School Board official, is from less-affluent western Chester County. His desire to reach across income and political lines could bring a fresh approach to important development and quality-of-life issues. Cozzone, a previous county controller candidate, has relatively limited political experience. But that is offset by her more than two decades in accounting and financial management, which would be an asset during budget writing, tax assessments and strategic planning.
Also running are Bill Scott, 62, a four-decade county Democrat and two-term member of the West Chester Borough Council, and Ginny McMichael, 50, a two-term supervisor in East Whiteland Township. Both are experienced candidates who are well-versed in environmental, land-use and governmental issues.