Judy DiFilippo Makes Her Decision Official — She Will Run for State Representative

It is now official.  Many of us knew that when Judy DiFilippo decided not to seek re-election to Tredyffrin Township’s Board of Supervisors, she had already begun to consider a run for the State House.  Now it is official — Judy is in the race for State Representative from the 157th district.  Stay tuned as the Primary campaign season begins to unfold; I think it’s going to be an interesting ride!

Below is the official press release announcing Judy’s bid for the state house which appears in today’s Main Line Suburban Life newspaper.

    DiFilippo sets sights on state house

Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2010

By Blair Meadowcroft

Shortly after stepping down from her position on the Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors, a position held for the past 20 years, Judy DiFilippo has announced her candidacy for state representative in the 157th Legislative District. DiFilippo decided to run in the Republican primary for state representative after being asked, and so far the response to her candidacy has been positive.

“There is a lot of support out there, which is nice,” said DiFilippo. “The experience so far has been very good.”

With a background rich in diversity, DiFilippo feels her various experiences have prepared her for the position of state representative. “It’s important to have someone who understands local government because some of the decisions they make up in Harrisburg really impact local government and school districts,” said DiFilippo. “My experience is at the township level as well as the county level through working with the Planning Commission. I have also worked with various supervisors in municipalities from the smallest township to the larger ones.”

A life-long volunteer, the list of organizations and committees that DiFilippo has given her time to, as well as the various positions she has held, is endless. Perhaps one of the experiences on DiFilippo’s résumé that will best prepare her for this new position was her time spent working for former 157th District State Rep. Carole Rubley for more than two years starting in 2003. “Through that experience I have been able to establish a relationship with some of the other state legislators, which will prove useful,” said DiFilippo.

 Although just at the beginning of her campaign, DiFilippo continues to make phone calls, a task she began before the holidays. Additionally she is beginning to put her committee together. If elected, she plans to address the “really tough issues” in Harrisburg.

According to DiFilippo, based on talking to people, most of the concerns being expressed revolve around the economy and health care as well as local issues with traffic. “I can take these concerns to Harrisburg and try to find ways to resolve some of them,” said DiFilippo. “So far people are very willing to listen to me as well as share their concerns with me, which I appreciate. I need them to understand that I am willing to take those concerns to Harrisburg to work on ways to address them.”

With the support and encouragement of her family, friends, neighbors and colleagues in the 157th District, DiFilippo said she is excited at the prospect of continuing her public service at the state level.

“I am willing to commit to this position full-time,” said DiFilippo. “I want to bring my knowledge of the community and local government to Harrisburg and work on the issues that we all care about – the economy, jobs and quality-of-life issues like the environment, education, health care, rising energy costs and traffic.” DiFilippo’s plans for the upcoming months are to continue to meet with the voters in the 157th District.

 “I look forward to meeting with the voters to discuss our common concerns and to earn their support for my election,” said DiFilippo.

What is a Leader?

As we close out one year, and begin a new one, we all reflect on our lives.  As I watched the last few Board of Supervisor meetings, I reflected on the effect that Judy DiFillipo’s retirement would have on our community.  Having served this township as a supervisor for 20 years, I wrote the following ‘As I See It’ article for this week’s edition of Main Line Suburban Life newspaper to honor Judy and her leadership qualities that benefited the residents for 2 decades.  And as a means of full disclosure, . . . yes, Judy and I very close friends.

For those who do not receive the paper, here is my article:

    As I See It:

    Tredyffrin lost something special with DiFilippo’s departure

Published: Wednesday, January 6, 2010

By Pattye Benson

Year’s end is always a time of reflection. We look back over the last 12 months and take measure of where we are now in relation to where we were when the year began. As we begin 2010, the residents of Tredyffrin Township will have the opportunity to reflect on what will now be a “missing link” in our local leadership.

What makes a good leader? Not everyone is made to be a leader … there are leaders and then there are followers. Leaders come from all walks of life and economic backgrounds and from either gender. Leadership does not discriminate. For the last 20 years Tredyffrin Township was fortunate to have a “leader” in retiring Supervisor Judy DiFilippo. For many in the community, Judy represented what can and should be “good” about serving as an elected official. Whether you watched the Board of Supervisors meetings from home or sat in the audience, she possessed the ability to transform and command respect from others on either side of her.

Judy guided the township in an orderly and purposeful manner, even in situations of discontent and uncertainty in the community. As a supervisor she was tolerant of ambiguity and remained calm, composed and steadfast to the main purpose… to serve the residents of Tredyffrin Township. We all knew that we could trust Judy; she governed as she lived her life, with honesty, integrity and strong internal guiding principles that she did not compromise. Judy “walked the talk” and in doing so earned our respect and the right to have responsibility for this community. Her “calming of the waters” approach to governing reassured us … we just all knew that it would be OK as long as Judy was guiding the ship.

Judy understood the importance of serving a wider community. We may not have always agreed with her decisions but we could be confident that the community’s best interests were at the core of her decisions. As a supervisor Judy could wade through difficult information, comprehend what is relevant, make a well-considered decision and take action based on that decision. Judy believed her purpose as an elected official was to serve all the community and did so with genuine concern for all of the residents. As a leader Judy inspired others to follow. She led yet people did not feel that they were being led. Judy served as a quiet leader without demanding recognition and praise, a quality that is quite rare among many elected officials.

I understand all too well her many attributes; our friendship goes back nearly as long as she served as a township supervisor. For close to 20 years our lives have been intertwined … standing next to each other as members of the Noteables; co-chairing the Tredyffrin 300 celebration as well as many other events for the Tredyffrin Historic Preservation Trust; together producing the historical documentary, “Tredyffrin … The First 300 Years,” etc. For me Judy has been the one constant friend in my life who would listen first, counsel second and never judge my decisions (even if she did not always agree with them). A true sign of a gifted leader (and close friend) is someone who really listens; the fastest and most effective way to show that you care and that you are competent. Many of us are challenged by the concept of listening but not Judy. I envy this natural talent in my friend and just another quality that sets her apart from many in the world of politics.

A good leader is committed to excellence. Second best does not lead to success. Judy not only maintained a high standard for herself but also was proactive in raising the bar in order to achieve excellence in all areas. Just her presence makes those around her want to be better people.

How will we feel that the person who “set the bar” for 20 years, who created the real “gold standard” for Tredyffrin Township, is no longer sitting on the dais? Yes, we know that Judy will stay involved in our community, and yes, I know that she and I will remain the best of friends, but I fear that the residents of Tredyffrin Township lost something very special when Judy DiFilippo decided to retire from the Board of Supervisors.

Pattye Benson lives in Malvern.