COATESVILLE >> A write-in candidate appears to be the winner of a special election for the 2nd Ward seat on City Council, in which the incumbent was also running a write-in campaign, and only a third-party candidate had his name on the ballot.
Democrat Donald Folks said he was informed by a county Democratic committeeperson that he won the majority of the 124 write-in votes in the race.
“I would like to take this time to thank everyone that came out and voted for me,” Folks said in a Facebook post after the election. “I appreciate your confidence in me to represent the 2nd Ward as your city councilman. Now the work begins.”
Democratic Councilwoman Delores Williams also ran a write-in campaign to retain her seat on council. Write-in votes accounted for 73.8 percent of the votes cast in this race.
Libertarian Kevin Anderson, the only candidate who made it onto the ballot ahead of time, received 44 votes, or 26.2 percent of the vote.
All election results are unofficial until certified by the county Board of Elections. An employee at Chester County Voter Services said write-in results won’t be certified until the end of the month.
Folks said he was born in Coatesville and lived in Parkesburg for a time, but then moved back to the city about 31 years ago. He went to work at Lukens Steel straight from high school, but for the past 25 years, he’s been self-employed running his own lawn care business, he said.
Folks said he’s been involved with the city by serving on the Redevelopment Authority for the past five years and the Civil Service Commission for the past seven years, but now seemed like the perfect time to step up and try to make the city better by serving on council.
“I would love to clean up the city, and I’d love to stop wasteful spending,” he said. “I want the city to come together. If we don’t come together, the city doesn’t work.”
Williams was appointed to the seat by Judge Jacqueline Carroll Cody in March, after council was deadlocked 3-3 between Williams and another city resident who expressed interest in joining council. The seat had been vacant after a council member left the seat before their term had expired.
Williams said she had run for the 2nd Ward seat in the Democratic Primary last year but lost that election by nine votes. She said she wanted to serve on council because she has a passion for the city and wants to help. She said she was born and raised in Coatesville and raised her five great kids in the city with her husband. She is a teller at Key Bank, where she’s worked for 25 years.
Williams said she wants to help the city with its ongoing revitalization efforts so people can be out enjoying the city with a vibrant downtown on any given day, similar to the atmosphere in West Chester and Phoenixville.
“I love this city, and I would like to continue to see it grow,” she said.
Anderson said he’s lived in Coatsville for most of his life, and before that he lived in Wagontown. He currently works with a temp agency, and previously served as a firefighter and EMT for 26 years, primarily with the Thorndale Fire Company, and also a bit with Washington Hose Company and Minquas Fire Company.
He said his first priority would be look into taxing and spending issues in the city because the city has a high tax rate already. There should be a way to control spending to avoid constantly increasing taxes, he said.
Folks, who used to work as a DJ under the name, “Fat Cat,” said he remembers when Coatesville was booming, and he wants to help get it back to that point. “It’s coming back, but it’s a slow process,” he said.