There has been growth in the Democratic Party in some parts of the Brandywine Valley over the years. In Chadds Ford Township definitely where the local Democrats have only been in existence since early 2005 following the defeat of John Kerry to Pres. George Bush in the 2004 general election.But within two years that party had its candidates - Joe Sestak and Bob Casey - beat out Republican incumbents for the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

Not only did those candidates win the election, they won in Republican dominated Chadds Ford.

But what the regional Democratic Party has yet to do is offer candidates who can even come close to winning a state House of Representatives seat. And it's not just the Chadds Ford or Delaware County Democrats who are failing at this level. Chester County and Kennett area Democrats have been just as woeful. It's almost difficult remembering the names of their candidates.

And even if one does recall the names Shawn Dig-gory, Mike McGann or Mario Calvarese, no one can draw any inspiration from their political accomplishments - or lack thereof.

Messrs. Diggory and McGann were the last two opponents defeated easily by state Rep. Stephen Barrar who represents the 160th Legislative District, while Mr. Calvarese was a multi-year loser to Chris Ross in the 158th district. Lois Herr was another who went down to defeat at the hands of Mr. Ross.

Each of those candidates lost easily. They were nothing more than names on a ballot, candidates thrown into a ring just to have the party represented even though they were sure to fail.

So it will be interesting to watch the race this fall between Democrat Tom Houghton and Republican Curtis Mason as they vie for the 13th Legislative District seat since long-time incumbent Art Hershey is retiring from the state house.

The elephant rules in this part of the state. There have been some exceptions, of course. State Sen. Andy Dinniman is one example of a Democrat winning a seat long held by a Republican.

Tom Houghton and Curtis Mason are both supervisors in neighboring townships. Mr. Houghton, the Democrat in London Grove has support from Republican colleagues, while Mr. Mason, from Penn Topwnship, and his family are well known in the district.

While we take no sides in this race, it will be interesting to see whether a Democrat can win the seat.

For those who abhor one-party dominance, having a viable alternative is a positive. It's even positive if one is on the other side, though they might not like to admit that.

Of course, having more viable choices would be even better. A greater voice for Greens, Libertarians and Constitution Party candidates would increase the level of political discourse, bringing new ideas up for consideration. Such a change would be more reflective of society, especially considering the proliferation of non-incumbent parties over the years and that more people feel that Democrats and Republicans are all the same.

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