Election: Contested Phoenixville council races go Republican

Jon Ichter Jr., Republican candidate, Phoenixville North Ward

PHOENIXVILLE — The contested races for borough council went red for the GOP Tuesday night.

Jon Ichter Jr. defeated Edwin Soto to represent the north side of town, while Michael Kuznar defeated former borough councilman Kyle Guie in the latter’s bid to regain his old seat. All results are unofficial until certified by the Chester County Board of Elections.

North Ward

According to his numbers around 9:20 p.m., Ichter said indications were that he won the election by 37 votes over Soto.

“I’m gonna tell you the work has just begun,” Ichter said Tuesday night.

Ichter moved to the borough in 2008 and currently serves on Phoenixville’s Historic Architectural Review Board.

In victory, Ichter said, “more than anything, my wife has been extremely supportive.”

Soto conceded defeat and spoke with 21st Century Media around 9:30 p.m., thanking everyone who worked on his campaign.

“I’m really proud of the campaign I ran,” Soto said. “Congratulations to Mr. Ichter.”

Before the election, Ichter told 21st Century Media he was looking to bring bigger businesses into the area while also fostering “small local Phoenixville shops that provide our (town) character.”

Regarding future development, Icther campaigned on blocking any “attempts to complete housing projects which do not receive strong support of our immediate community in the North Ward.”

He said value must be placed on open space and the character of the neighborhoods there.

Richard Kirkner, the current president of borough council, did not seek re-election and Ichter will take his seat.

“I look forward to serving,” he said Tuesday night.

Soto, in the meantime, said he was “100 percent” sure he’d stay active despite his loss.

“The community is the most important thing,” he said.

Middle Ward

Kuznar declared victory over Guie on his Facebook page around 8:45 p.m.

“I want to say thank you to everybody that helped me with my election,” he wrote. “I feel proud to serve Phoenixville Middle Ward as your next councilman.”

Speaking with 21st Century Media Tuesday night, Kuznar said he is “really excited” to become the latest Middle Ward representative to council.

“I have a ton of respect for Kyle Guie. I think Kyle Guie is awesome.

Kuznar became politically active in the borough within the last two years, including membership on Phoenixville’s planning commission and the zoning committee. He also served as the Middle Ward representative of the political redistricting committee last year.

With Kuznar’s victory, another Republican will serve in the Middle Ward seat alongside Democrat Jen Mayo on council.

Current seat-holder Karl Bucus served on council since he replaced Guie last year.

Guie left his seat on council when work in Lancaster County made living in the borough impractical.

From the beginning, Bucus said he would not seek re-election at the end of his term.

Kuznar said he has a “ton of respect for Guie,”

Guie couldn’t be reached for comment.

Uncontested races

Dana Dugan, an incumbent West Ward candidate who’s lived in the borough for 15 years, was unopposed and will serve her second term. She’s been on council since 2010.

Jeremy Dalton was also unopposed and will succeed longtime councilman Dave Gautreau as an East Ward representative on council. Dalton works in real estate and computer technologies and hoped to “bring a fresh edge to council.”

Both are Democrats.

Follow Frank Otto on Twitter @fottojourno.

Join the Conversation