In what has become a pattern of abuse of the truth, Pennsylvania State Representative Margo Davidson has launched her webpage dedicated to her re-election for the 164th Legislative District. The page holds many inconsistencies regarding Ms. Davidson’s accomplishments. The opening paragraph in her re-election website opens with this implausible sentence, “In 2010, Margo Davidson made history becoming the first Woman, Democrat and African-American from Upper Darby in Delaware county.” The question to ask about this sentence is simply, what? The first woman of what? The first Democrat to do what? The first African-American to do what? If Ms. Davidson means to say she is the first woman to be elected to office in Delaware County that is not correct. If she means she is the first Democrat elected to office in Delaware County, she is not correct. If she means the first African American elected to office in Delaware County, again that is not correct.
On the first issue of a woman being elected from Delaware County it does a great disservice to the women who have served residents of Delaware County. For instance, from 1957 to 1968 Mae Kernaghan, of Yeadon, represented Delaware County as a Pennsylvania State Representative. She was actually a representative before the new constitution took effect and then was the State Representative of the 163Rd District.
Then the was Helen Odorisio of Radnor who won a special election in 1967 to represent the 167th district. Faith Whittlesey, who not only served as a representative of the 166th district from 1973 to 1976, she also served as a County Commissioner. Whittlesey was also appointed by Ronald Reagan to be the U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland from 1981–83 and again from 1985-88. There is also Kathrynann Durham of Concord represented the 160th from 1979 to 1996 and is currently a Common Pleas Judge. There is also Mary Ann Arty of Springfield who represented the 165th district from 1979 to 1988 and went on to become a County Council President.
Next claim is that of being the first Democrat elected to office in Delaware County. If Ms. Davidson had been a resident as long as so many of the residents of Upper Darby have been they would have told her all about our Democratic Congressman Bob Edgar who served the 7th Congressional District from January 3, 1975 until January 3, 1987. Edgar was the first Democrat elected to Congress since 1939. Edgar was once called by President Reagan as the “most dangerous man in America.” There was also a Democrat who represented the 164th District from 1975 to 1978. That was Tom Stapleton. There was also Upper Darby Democratic State Senator John Sweeney, who served one term between 1975 and 1978 before losing to Joe Loeper.
Now if Ms. Davidson is trying to say she is the first African American woman who also happens to be a Democrat, who has been elected to the 164th legislative seat, she is the first to be all three parts at one time but in no way is she the first woman, first Democrat or African American to be elected to serve the voters of Upper Darby or Delaware County.