Josh’s Story


The “millennial mayor” of downingtown

Josh Maxwell is in his third term as the mayor of Downingtown after being sworn in as Downingtown’s youngest Mayor in 2010 at the age of 26. Josh has been a proven driver of economic change and job growth and an ally in causes of social justice and equality. A lifelong Chester County resident, Josh is running to ensure that all of our communities thrive, to create opportunities for working families, and to strengthen the equality of all people.

As Mayor, Josh has balanced six straight no-tax-increase budgets, negotiated the largest public and private investment in Downingtown’s history in the form of a transit-oriented and train station development, and has been a vocal advocate for drug treatment and domestic violence charities. Besides serving in the part-time mayoral position, Josh has worked as a USAID contractor, developing international development programs around the world.

In 2017, Josh spearheaded the negotiation for a $224 million transit-oriented development that includes an Amtrak/Septa station and trail extension that increases the value of Downingtown by 17%. Under Josh’s tenure, Downingtown has gone one of the largest stretches for a Chester County borough without a tax increase and has paid down more than 60% of its debt, maintaining the highest credit rating possible for a borough of its size.

Born in Chester County, Josh is a graduate of Downingtown High School and has earned a Bachelors Degree from West Chester University and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. Josh and his wife Blair Thornburgh, an author of books for children and teens, were married in August 2018.

Josh at a glance

  • A lifelong Chester County resident

  • Three-term Mayor of Downingtown

  • BA, Political Science, West Chester University

  • Masters of Public Administration (MPA), University of Pennsylvania

  • Experience with running a small town and global affairs

Fun facts

  • Ran the 2015 New York City Marathon to raise money for domestic violence awareness

  • Eagles jersey of choice: Hershel Walker (vintage) or Nick Foles (current)

  • Has handcrafted dozens of live-edge wooden tables as an amateur woodworker

  • Favorite movie: It’s A Wonderful Life

To this day, many people ask me what motivated me to make my first run for office at the age of 26. My answer isn’t complicated, and it hasn’t changed in the nearly ten years since: I believe serving as an elected is the best way to help the most people
— Josh Maxwell