New chair of Lancaster County Democrats hopes to capitalize on momentum


LANCASTER, Pa (WHTM) — Diane Topakian is the newly elected chair of the Lancaster County Democratic Committee. Topakian is strong spirited, which may come in handy for what she looks to accomplish.

“We’re not as red. We’re not deep red anymore,” she said. “I think the tide is turning. I think it’s on us to get out there and talk to voters.”

Topakian was elected last month following unexpected changes. The Democratic Party holds majorities on boards in the municipalities surrounding Lancaster City after November’s election.

“It’s Lititz Borough, it’s Elizabethtown, it’s Columbia. We have Democrats on all these local government seats,” she said.

Her selection for chair came after rumors of a coup within the party. Preceding chair JoAnn Hentz resigned last month after some members believed there was a divide among newly engaged Democrats and an old guard.

“It was a question of leadership style and inclusivity,” Topakian said. “I think what our committee people wanted was someone who could be more inclusive and be more process-oriented and collaborative.”

She now looks to rally the local Democratic base which could potentially create 10,000 new voters.

Lancaster County is anticipated to be a major battleground for both parties come November.

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