In the previous three elections there, Democrats stomped Republicans across the county, winning the county commission majority for the first time and sweeping the “row offices,” as locals call them, the countywide offices such as district attorney. After a court-ordered redistricting condensed all of Chester County into Costello’s district, the GOP incumbent retired in 2018 rather than face Houlahan in the new Democratic-leaning district.

Now Costello thinks that the previous three years of politics just represented an anti-Trump primal scream by economically successful, well-educated voters.

“There was a group of voters that had to voice their displeasure with Trump, and the only way to do that was to vote against those Republicans,” he said.

In 2020, tens of thousands of Chester County voters expressed their opposition to Trump by voting for Biden, then voted for GOP candidates in other races. In fact, of the five Republicans running across all of Chester County, Trump received the fewest votes.