In the afterglow of resounding reelection wins, Bucks County Commissioners Bob Harvie and Diane Ellis-Marseglia on Wednesday characterized Democrats’ strong showing as a repudiation of culture war politics.
“It was a very motivated electorate that wanted to hear about ideas,” said Harvie. “They were looking at the future, not scare tactics, lies and misinformation.”
Harvie was speaking not only of his and Marseglia’s relatively comfortable victories but also about the Democrats’ flipping of both the Pennridge and Central Bucks school boards, where issues related LGBTQ+ topics, library policies, and curriculum modifications loomed large.
“When you’re talking about fear tactics in local elections, people see through that,” Marseglia said. “They want government to work for them.”
Patricia Poprik, who chairs the Bucks County Republican Committee had a different analysis of the outcome.
“We had a great group of candidates who really worked hard,” she said Wednesday. “Unfortunately, they got caught up in a national environment that was not favorable for Republicans. While this wasn’t the outcome we wanted, we certainly respect that the voters get to decide.”
Marseglia and Harvie received 103,495 and 95,503 votes, respectively, to Republican incumbent Gene DiGirolamo’s 89,807 and Republican challenger Pamela A. Van Blunk’s 85,057.
That means DiGirolamo will spend another term on the board as minority commissioner.
“This clearly shows that people appreciate people with bipartisan approaches and Gene has a track record of helping people,” Marseglia said.
Democrats also went 4-0 in the row office elections.
In the clerk of courts race, Democrat newcomer Eileen Hartnett Albillar (103,025 votes) bested Jeff Hall Gale (91,935). Patti Campi (101,914) will succeed fellow Democrat Meredith Buck as county coroner, have beaten Republican Charles R. Stockert (91,705).
Democrat incumbent Linda Bobrin (101,995) won another term as register of wills fending off a challenge from Robyn Goodnoe (93,281).
Bucks County Treasurer Kris Ballerini (103,025) was also reelected over Republican Sherry Bunch Labs (91,935).
“The two incumbents have done tremendous jobs bringing their offices into the modern era and we had two great candidates in the other spots,” Harvie said. “It sounds like a cliche, but it was a real team effort.”
With the election behind them, Marseglia said she wants to continue shepherding through improvements to the county’s mental health an drug and alcohol programs. Harvie said he is excited for the prospect of launching the county’s Climate Action Plan in his next term.