Dozens of Chester’s faithful partisans welcomed Delaware County-native, small business owner and Republican Pennsylvania senatorial candidate, Tom H. Killion, at a meet-and-greet at The Highway of Church of Christ Saturday afternoon, as a guest of the Chester Republican Committee. He discussed issues such as the economy and education as they relate to the state and the city.

Killion, currently state representative for the 168th district, is seeking to win the open seat for the Ninth Senatorial District, held from 2006 until last year by Dominic Pileggi who now sits as a judge on Delaware County Common Pleas Court.

Killion, who spoke last after three other GOP personalities, addressed obstacles facing the state, county and municipal levels, zoning in on Chester’s disparities.

Ninth District senatorial candidate Tom Killion (center) is flanked by Chester Republican leaders at a rally Saturday afternoon. Killion is with (from left) former Chester Economic Development Director James E. Turner, City GOP Chairman Shep Garner and GOP activist and attorney Clinton Johnson.

Ninth District senatorial candidate Tom Killion (center) is flanked by Chester Republican leaders at a rally Saturday afternoon. Killion is with (from left) former Chester Economic Development Director James E. Turner, City GOP Chairman Shep Garner and GOP activist and attorney Clinton Johnson.

“We need to make sure that Chester City is getting a fair share of those jobs,” Killion said in talking about new energy-related job opportunities. He talked about working with other elected officials to save Marcus Hook oil refineries and related businesses on the city’s waterfront that would have been a “devastating” loss had they not been prevented from closing.

Their rescue jumpstarted a thriving rebirth of the refineries, according to Killion, and resulted in “the first ship leaving” the port to transport natural gas.

Understanding that Chester lies solidly within the senatorial district, Killion pointed to support he’s given the city even as an outside official. He said the state wanted to put a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in his district, but he rejected the proposal, favoring Chester instead.

“I said no, that’s not where it should be, it should be at Widener University, it should be in the City of Chester,” he said. “We need to build the riverfront up.”

Killion talked more about a need for a strong workforce and the downward spiral of the Chester Upland School District, a district he said he supported for supplemental funding.

“We heard jobs, jobs, jobs… well you need an educated workforce to fill those jobs,” he said. “We have to make sure (CUSD) gets the funding it needs as well as the other education opportunities.”

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