Primary Election 2017: Voter’s Guide

Voters preparing to enter the polling place at the Newtown Township complex.
Credit: Tom Sofield/NewtownPANow.com

It’s that time of year again!

Tuesday, May 16 is primary election day across Pennsylvania.

All polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

As a reminder, the election is a closed primary, meaning only registered Democrats can vote for Democrats; registered Republicans can only vote for Republicans.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, there were 197,762 Democrats, 188,510 registered Republicans in Bucks County and 74,893 registered to no party or anther affiliation of Monday.

2016 General Election Results


NO identification is needed to vote. The exception is if you are a first-time voter or this will be your first election in a new ward.

If you are looking to write-in a candidate, poll site staff can show you how to add a person’s name.

Problems at the Polls? Contact the Bucks County Board of Elections at 215-348-6154.

Click here to see a sample ballot for Bucks County.

The below candidate information has been provided through an extensive guide compiled by the Bucks County League of Women Voters. They are a donation-supported organization and accept contributions.


Judge of the Supreme Court (10-year term)

  • Dwayne Woodruff, Democrat
  • Sally Mundy, Republican

Judge of the Superior Court (10-year term; Vote for no more than four)

Carolyn Nichols, Democrat

Candidate did not respond.

Geoff Moulton, Democrat

Occupation: Judge, Superior Court of Pennsylvania Education: B.A. Amherst College; J.D. Columbia University School of Law

Qualifications: The Judicial Evaluation Comm’n of the Pennsylvania Bar Association concluded: “This commission believes that the candidate possesses the highest combination of legal ability, experience, integrity and temperament and, therefore, highly recommends his candidacy for the Pennsylvania Superior Court.”

Answer to Questions:

What is the most important quality in a judge? Beyond the baseline requirements of professional competence, integrity, and appropriate judicial temperament, the most important qualification is a commitment to ensuring that every participant in the judicial system is treated fairly and with dignity and respect.

Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case? Judges should recuse themselves when their impartiality might reasonably be questioned. In the context of the current judicial campaign, I have recused myself in situations where lawyers providing significant support to my campaign, or members of their firms, represent clients in our court.

As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice? I believe deeply in our civil justice system, but it is far from perfect, in large part because too many litigants do not have the resources to afford legal representation in important classes of cases where such representation is not 4 provided by the state. As a result, I have supported and will continue to support efforts to find ways to bridge that gap, including the “Civil Gideon” movement.

Maria McLaughlin, Democrat

Occupation: Judge Court of Common Pleas Education: JD

Qualifications: As a Judge in the largest Judicial district in our Commonwealth, I’ve had the opportunity to issue thousands of rulings. I have been appealed only 5 times and have never had a decision overturned. I believe this uniquely qualifies me for the Superior Court.

Answer to Questions:

What is the most important quality in a judge? It is most important for a jurist to be objective because parties must have confidence that their case will be heard fairly and impartially.

Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case? I have recused myself in a criminal matter after hearing argument on a bail reduction motion. It would be inappropriate for me to hear the underlying case because information was revealed during this motion that would be prejudicial to the defendant in his underlying case.

As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice? As a sitting Judge I always ensure that all parties are treated fairly and equally regardless of the issue before the Court. I also believe it is my duty as a Judge to educate the public and is the reason I take part in many community based organizations. I believe I should be a good example both on and off the bench

Debbie Kunselman, Democrat

Occupation: Judge

Education: J.D.,University of Notre Dame Law School, cum laude B.A., Penn State University, with Honors and with High Distinction

Qualifications: 12 years experience as a trial court judge in Beaver County: presided over family, juvenile and civil matters; 13 years experience as an attorney: represented clients in personal injury, family and employment cases; 8 years as Chief County Solicitor for Beaver County; “Highly Recommended” by the Bar.

Answer to Questions:

What is the most important quality in a judge? Integrity. If you cannot trust a judge to do the right thing, and follow the law, then who can you trust?

Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case? I have and would recuse in cases involving family members, close friends, or former clients. I have also recused in matters involving my campaign officers. I would also recuse in other cases as required by the PA Code of Judicial Conduct, Rule 2.11.

As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice? 5 As a judge, on the bench, I can treat self-represented litigants with respect, so they are not intimidated by the legal system. Off the bench, I can speak at seminars and to the general public about the need for all people to have access to a lawyer to protect their legal rights. I can also advocate for state funding for our public defenders. (Pennsylvania is one of only two states that does not provide any state funding to the public defenders’ office.)

William Caye, Democrat

Occupation: Statewide Criminal and Juvenile Defense Trial Attorney

Education: Duquesne University School of Law JD, front line editor Juris; Duquesne University Liberal Arts BA, Magna cum laude

Qualifications: I am an accomplished trial attorney with 24 years of extensive private and public sector litigation, jury / nonjury trials and motions practice experience, having presented and/or defended thousands of disputes in magistrate courts and in nearly each division of the Common Pleas Court system. I was a former Assistant DA in Allegheny county and a Senior Deputy Attorney General criminal prosecutor with numerous winning verdicts in major felony actions in elder, sex, child, and domestic abuse matters across our state. I also previously performed judicial law clerk duties such as: responsive legal research, writing, and advising judges in federal, state, and county posts with exceptional contributions to published opinions and orders, and unpublished memoranda.

Answer to Questions:

What is the most important quality in a judge? Integrity is the most important quality in a jurist because the litigants and parties deserve an impartial adjudication of their claims or defenses.

Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case? Recusal is required when the impartiality of the fact finder may be reasonably called into question due to a conflict of interest, bias or any other factor that may create the appearance of impropriety or cast doubt on the integrity of the jurist.

As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice? The rules of judicial conduct permit judges to engage in educational programs, engage in proactive community activities to enhance the perception of the bench and promote equal justice. On the bench, in chambers, and professional settings, judges must be respectful, courteous, kind and sensitive to the individuals that have business before the Courts. Judges must be diligent public stewards of the authority vested in them by the people.

Emil Giordano, Republican

Occupation: Judge of the Court of Common Pleas

Education: J.D. Villanova Law School, B.A. Moravian College Qualifications: I have received a “Highly Recommended” rating from the Pennsylvania Bar Association.

Answer to Questions:

What is the most important quality in a judge? 6 Experience. The Pennsylvania Bar Association cited my “broad experience as a practicing attorney, proven record of judicial leadership, high ethical standards and dedication to the legal profession” as they awarded me a “highly recommended” rating. I believe those are important qualities that will serve me well on the Superior Court.

Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case? I believe I have a proven record of conducting myself in a highly ethical manner as it relates to this issue.

As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice? The biggest issue that needs to be addressed in the courts is the crisis of public confidence our judiciary faces. Through scandal and ethics lapses, the courts are viewed negatively by too many people. That image will only be changed by electing qualified, ethical judges who will comport themselves in an appropriate manner when in office

Craig Stedman, Republican

Occupation: Lancaster District Attorney

Education: B.A. History – University of Delaware; J.D. Penn State Dickinson School of Law

Qualifications: The Pennsylvania Bar Association awarded me a “Highly Recommended” rating.

Answer to Questions:

What is the most important quality in a judge? Experience – Criminal cases make up the great majority of the cases which are pending before the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. I will bring extensive criminal law knowledge and experience to the bench and thus the majority of cases. This is particularly important because there is very little combined prosecutorial experience in the Superior Court and not one who ever served as an elected District Attorney.

Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case?

As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice? I want to become a part of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania to serve the citizens of this state and apply the law fairly and with equal justice for everyone. The concepts of fairness and equal justice are not just words to me and I am committed to interpreting the law with integrity, honor, and common sense. I am committed to making this state a better place for everyone by serving with character, respect, intelligence, and wisdom.

Wade A. Kagarise, Republican

Occupation: Court of Common Pleas Judge and Adjunct Professor

Education: B.A. Indiana University of Pennsylvania, J.D Widener University School of Law

Qualifications: Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, 15 years experience as a criminal prosecutor (the last eight as Chief Deputy) handling all types of criminal cases including murder cases, twelve years experience handling civil, family, and labor law. Adjunct Professor, Infantry Veteran of US Army Reserves.

Answer to Questions:

What is the most important quality in a judge? 7 I believe experience and temperament are equally important. Judges should have broad based legal experience and should treat those who appear before them with fairness and dignity.

Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case? Consistent with the Judicial Cannons, any Judge should recuse themselves with they are unable to decide a matter fairly and impartially or where their fairness or impartiality could reasonably be called into question.

As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice? By working to improve the justice system for all Pennsylvanians. I have and will continue to work towards this goal. My experience on appointed committees has provided a venue to work on improvements. I also believe my experience as an adjunct professor has provided me the opportunity to have an impact on future generations of legal professionals

Mary Murray, Republican

Occupation: Magisterial District Judge & Attorney

Education: Duquesne University, BS/BA 1992, MBA 1995, JD 1996

Qualifications: As Magisterial District Judge for over 13 years and as an attorney for over 20, I have heard cases and practiced law in the areas that come before the Superior Court. In my tenure as a Magisterial District Judge, I have handled over 70,000 cases which make me aware of the concerns of PA citizens.

Answer to Questions:

What is the most important quality in a judge? The most important quality in a jurist is to listen to the evidence presented at a hearing and to apply the law in a fair and impartial manner. As a jurist giving every citizen their day in Court and being fair and impartial is the only way democracy can continue to flourish in our county.

Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case? I have recused myself from cases where police officers who appear regularly in front of me were either victims or defendants. I have also asked for a change in venue on cases where someone has run against me in a recent campaign or if someone called me at my home and tried to influence my decision on a case.

As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice? On the bench, I make sure that my staff provides litigates information on their rights to appeal and phone numbers for legal representation through Neighborhood Legal Services or Lawyer Referral Services or the Public Defender’s Office. Additionally, we try to provide interpreters when requested by the litigants. Off the bench, every citizen should lobby for adequate funding for the Courts and Legal Service organizations.

Paula A. Patrick, Republican

Occupation: Judge of Court of Common Pleas

Education: Bennett College Texas Southern University-Thurgood Marshall School of Law

Qualifications: Common Pleas Court Judge since 2003 Written more than 400 opinions to the 3 state appellate courts; Trial lawyer for almost 10 years; Former Adjunct 8 professor at LaSalle University; Former City Commissioner, Appointed

Answer to Questions:

What is the most important quality in a judge? I think that courage is the most important quality in a jurist. A judge should not be afraid to make the difficult and hard decisions. A judge should also be able to rise above the pull of politics and public opinion.

Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case? A judge is required to perform her judicial duties impartially, competently and diligently and should disqualify herself when she cannot perform her duties in an impartial way. A judge should recuse if there is a conflict of interest, personal bias, prejudice or if the judge has an economic interest in the case. I have recused myself from a case when I was that person’s prior judge on a different matter and when necessary in motion to suppress matters.

As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice? I attempt to educate when possible about the justice system. I speak at forums, schools, community groups, churches, etc. to help give the public information that they may better be able to access justice.

Judge of the Commonwealth Court (10-year term; Vote for no more than two)

Timothy Barry, Democrat

Occupation: Attorney

Education: J.D. 1979 University of Pittsburgh School of Law B.A. 1975 University of Pittsburgh

Qualifications: I have practiced municipal and public sector labor law for 37 years. I have been honored to serve as Solicitor for numerous municipalities and to advise many communities on labor relations. I also serve as a Labor Arbitrator. This experience makes me uniquely qualified for the Commonwealth Court.

Answer to Questions:

What is the most important quality in a judge? “[Timothy Barry] is highly regarded and has a long history of pro bono and community service. He has demonstrated a strong work ethic, professionalism and fairness in his interactions with clients and colleagues. The candidate is known for his integrity, knowledge of law and competence.” 9 I believe that this quote from the PA Bar Association’s Judicial Evaluation Commission, regarding their opinion of my professional and personal qualities, best describes the ultimate qualities in a jurist.

Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case? I believe that even the slightest indication of impropriety or conflict is a reason to recuse. I have avoided conflicts throughout my career simply because, if there is any doubt, I recuse myself. In my 37 years of legal practice, I have always maintained the highest level of professionalism.

As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice? In 2015, I successfully represented a waitress in a Title VII, sexual harassment federal court jury trial. Due to a non disclosure agreement, I cannot divulge further details, but this case was about respect for women and women’s rights. I am committed to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have equal access to a fair judicial system.

Joe Cosgrove, Democrat

Occupation: Judge of the Commonwealth Court

Education: Marywood College, M.A. Studio Arts Notre Dame School of Law, J.D. Notre Dame – B.A. Government and Int’l Studies; M.A. Theology

Qualifications: As a sitting judge on the Commonwealth Court, I am uniquely qualified to continue serving the people of Pennsylvania. I formerly served as a Judge on the Court of Common Pleas, and am the only Democratic candidate on the ballot to be “Highly Recommended” by the PA Bar Association.

Answer to Questions: What is the most important quality in a judge? Dedication to fairness and equality. As a Judge on the Commonwealth Court and as a former Judge on the Court of Common Pleas, I have a proven track record of working to ensure fairness, equality and equal access to the law for all Pennsylvanians. I was taught that everyone matters, that no one is more valuable than anyone else, and that justice and the law are the instruments by which we bring about that equality. Those are the principles that guide me as a Judge on the Commonwealth Court.

Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case? The cornerstone of every recusal question is (1) whether the judge knows of reasons or circumstances by which he or she would not be able to be fair and impartial, and (2) even if the judge would be fair and impartial, would a reasonable person question that impartiality. As a judge, I wrote an opinion in a case where I recused myself sua sponte. This opinion was published in the Luzerne Legal Register. My recusal decisions are rooted in these principles.

As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice? I have worked to make sure that our courts address the real problems faced by real people. I am especially proud of my work to create problem-solving courts, like Veterans Court, and the Luzerne County Mortgage Mediation Court, which kept families in their homes during the mortgage crisis. The power of the law to effect people’s lives is immense. On the Commonwealth Court, we understand that our decisions will affect the lives of all Pennsylvanians, possibly for generations to come.

Ellen Ceisler, Democrat

Occupation: Labor Attorney

Education: BA, Political Science, Point Park University JD, Dickinson School of Law

Qualifications For over 20 years, I have worked as a labor attorney specializing in contract negotiations & arbitrations, workplace discrimination and general counsel to a multitude of labor unions across many different sectors. I have tried hundreds of cases in front of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.

Answer to Questions:

What is the most important quality in a judge? Impartiality. I firmly believe that our judges must be impartial in every case, regardless of who someone is or where they come from. As a judge, I will always remain impartial and fair.

Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case? While I would have to make the determination on a case by case basis, I would seriously consider recusing myself in instances where I have either represented the litigants in front of me in the past, or feel as though there is an appearance of a conflict of interest.

As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice? 11 As a judge on Commonwealth Court, I would work with my fellow judges to provide better access to services for pro se litigants. More and more courts are providing these services which allow individuals to represent themselves in situations where they do not need the assistance of an attorney. The Commonwealth Court should follow the direction of the lower courts in instituting these programs.

Irene M. Clark, Democrat

Occupation: Attorney at Law, Mediator

Education: 1982-Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania-B.S., 1988-CUNY Law School, J.D., 1999-McGregor School of Antioch University, M.A./Conflict Resolution

Qualifications: Judge-Pittsburgh Municipal Court-1993-2003; Public Interest Attorney preventing and addressing blighted and abandoned real estate, training and educating on laws we have, drafting of and advocating for laws we need, implementing new laws, representing inaugural PA land banks-2003-present.

Answer to Questions:

What is the most important quality in a judge? The capacity to be reflective is the most important quality in a jurist. It describes being thoughtful and contemplative. The teaching mantra of my public interest law school was “plan, do, reflect”. It instilled regular historical review of my place in and contributions to social justice as a lawyer and former judge. Just as the moon reflects only the light of the sun, a good jurist’s character, conduct and standards reflect only the highest values and aspirations of our system of democracy.

Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case? I did not recuse myself from any case during ten years of judicial service on the Pittsburgh Municipal Court. Although I cannot anticipate circumstances under which I would recuse, I will always adhere to judicial conduct rules. I will continuously reflect on my impartiality from an objective point of view, readily disclose relevant information and be guided by Formal Advisory Opinion 2015-4 of the Judicial Ethics Committee of the PA Conference of State Trial Judges.

As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice? My record demonstrates commitment to social justice as a public interest attorney and to quality court administration as a former judge. As an appellate judge, I will do my part to eliminate the ‘justice gap’. On the bench, I will review trial judges’ use of existing authority to appoint counsel for litigants. Off the bench, I will join and advance the state and national Civil Gideon movement and persevere for systems’ change needed for PA to achieve a record of excellence on access to justice.

Bryan Barbin, Democrat

Education: BA Economics JD University of Pittsburgh Law School 1982

Qualifications: Judicial Clerk Pa Supreme Court Deputy Attorney General State Representative

Answer to Questions:

What is the most important quality in a judge? Fairness Impartiality and Respect for the Rule of Law

Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case? Appearance of Partiality

As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice? Support Pro Bono Programs

Paul Lalley, Republicans

Education: Dickinson School of Law — J.D. 1996 University of Pennsylvania — B.A. 1993

Qualifications: I am highly recommended by the Allegheny County Bar Association for Commonwealth Court and have twice been recommended by the Pennsylvania Bar Association for the Commonwealth Court. I am a former Pennsylvania Supreme Court law clerk and a successful appellate litigator.

Answer to Questions:

What is the most important quality in a judge? Fairness to the parties is the most important quality in a judge. It means treating parties with courtesy, respect, patience, and an open-minded willingness to listen to their positions and allow them to have their say.

Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case? I would recuse myself from any case where the Code of Judicial Conduct requires my recusal, or in any case where, after serious reflection, I would find that I could not give impartial consideration to a party’s cause for whatever reason.

As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice? Supporting the efforts of the ACBA and the PBA to ensure the provision of effective legal services to all members of our society, regardless of their means, is what I would continue to do if I am elected to the Commonwealth Court.

Christine Fizzano Cannon, Republican

Occupation: Judge, Court of Common Pleas

Education: Widener U. School of Law, J.D. cum laude 1994, University of Arizona, B.A. 1991

Qualifications: I was honored to be rated “Highly Recommended” by the Pa Bar Judicial Evaluation Comm. for a seat on the Commonwealth Court. My 22 years of experience as a judge, attorney, public official, community leader, and special prosecutor have uniquely prepared me for the position on this Court.

Answer to Questions:

What is the most important quality in a judge? 13 I believe intellect, integrity, humility and temperament are important qualities for effective judges. As head of the court’s Civil Trial Section, I listen and consider all sides of each matter before me with impartiality. A courtroom experience is often a rare and difficult experience for litigants. With this in mind, I apply a high level of courtesy and patience in the courtroom, which I believe can positively affect the level of trust and comfort that a litigant has in our justice system.

Under what circumstances would you recuse or have you recused yourself from a case? It is important not only that a judge approach each case with an open mind and complete impartiality, but also that a judge avoid even the appearance of impropriety or partiality, which could undermine the public’s confidence in the judiciary. I abide by the rules of judicial conduct which note that a “judge shall disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

As a member of the judiciary, what can you do on and off the bench to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to justice? While I cannot advocate for or against specific legislation on the state level, I believe that everyone should have access to the justice system. I worked as a special prosecutor of child support enforcement and represented individuals who could not afford an attorney to see that delinquent child support obligors were brought into compliance. As a judge, I treat everyone I encounter fairly, impartially and equally, including litigants, attorneys, staff and the public

Judge of the Commonwealth Court (10-year term)

Jeffrey G. Trauger, Democrat

Bucks County District Attorney (Four-year term)

Rich Scholer, Democrat

No response received

Matt Weintraub, Republican

DOB: October 1968

Education: 1986 William Tennent High School, 1990 Ursinus College, 1993 Temple Law School

Occupation: Bucks County District Attorney

Qualifications: Because I’ve given the public nearly a quarter century of exemplary service as a career prosecutor, I was chosen as Bucks County District Attorney by the Bucks County Common Pleas Judges in September, 2016.

As District Attorney, I’ve implemented and strengthened many countywide public safety and justice programs for Bucks County’s citizens. These include our DUI task force, out Community Accountability Program, our gun lock safety campaign, our local DNA database, Crimewatch: our public awareness resource, and many anti-drug initiatives. Having prosecuted many criminal trials to verdict, while continuing to personally prosecute several homicide cases a year, I actively lead and manage my incredible staff of 88 by example.

Bucks County Sheriff (Four-year term)

Milt Warrell, Democrat

Edward “Duke” Donnelly, Republican

Hometown: Richboro

DOB: September 1942

Education: Master’s Degree – Business Administration Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science Bachelor Degree – Secondary Education, Temple University Occupation: Elected Sheriff, County of Bucks since 2003

Qualifications: I have training, experience and expertise in various levels of law enforcement including leadership position. This has been an asset in dealing with the Sheriff’s Office.

As Sheriff, I started the Accreditation process. Required 200 standards and procedures by Police Chiefs’ Accreditation team. Certified 2013 and recertification 2016 and will continue this as long as I am Sheriff. Recently, I instituted the Sheriff’s Citizen’s Academy for residents of Bucks County on information and insight in our Sheriff’s operation. Updating our computer system with barcode and scanning Sheriff’s office paperwork. I will continue to uphold professionalism and integrity of this office.

Bucks County Prothonotary (Four-year term)

Judi Reiss, Democrat

Hometown: Yardley

DOB: 1949

Education: M.Ed with honors, UGA; BBA in Marketing Management, UGA

Occupation: Lower Makefield Township Supervisor

Qualifications: Working for a law firm and the LMT, I learned the importance of efficient access to court papers. Those needing court orders, an empathetic staff is important to provide a better experience. I can improve that service.

The priority of the Prothonotary is to provide efficient service to those in need of the documents which the office is required to maintain. The Prothonotary records all official documents and is required to insure that these documents are available in a timely manner. Many needing the resources of the Prothonotary have difficult issues requiring expedient and empathetic service. The public that requires these documents deserves an office which provides expert and respectful service.

Colleen Strunk, Republican

Hometown: New Hope

DOB: August 1961

Education: B.S., Business Administration

Occupation: First Deputy, Bucks County Register of Wills/Orphans’ Court

Qualifications: Two decades of management experience in public and private sectors; experience working in business and legal fields, including civil litigation; hands-on experience implementing new policies and procedures for County office to increase accessibility and lower costs.

Having served the public for almost 10 years in the Office of Register of Wills/Orphans’ Court of Bucks County, I understand how county government can and should work efficiently and to best serve the public, and have implemented policies that do so. I have also been a small business owner, and will bring to the Office of Prothonotary the same work ethic and commitment to customer service that makes any business successful.

Bucks County Recorder of Deeds (Four-year term)

Robin Robinson, Democrat

Hometown: Doylestown

DOB: March 1954

Education: BS Degree from San Diego State University

Occupation: Administration Assistant to Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia Qualifications: Real-estate background, Title Company experience and expertise in management and customer service.

Before I was a real-estate agent, I worked for Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. I went through executive training programs and managed top departments in top stores. I know how people in Bucks County should be treated. I have been Commissioner Marseglia’s assistant for 9 years. I have answered or returned every call. I have given our constituents the best service possible. I will bring that service and professionalism to the office.

Joseph Szafran Jr., Republican

No response received

Bucks County Controller (Four-year term)

Neale Dougherty, Democrat

Hometown: Solebury

DOB: February 1968

Education: University of Pennsylvania, B.A. Occupation: Commercial Insurance Consultant Qualifications: President of the New Hope-Solebury School Board, Chair of the Finance Committee

As President of a school board, and chair of its Finance Committee, I have a record of ensuring accountability to all taxpayers and making the district’s financial affairs fully transparent. It is critical that all Bucks residents have confidence in the supervision and control over the county’s financial activities. As the final, independent check on all fiscal affairs of county government, as well as the independently elected officers and courts, it is imperative that the Controller provides a clear, unambiguous process and helps deliver clean

Michael J. Gallagher, Republican

Hometown: Newtown

DOB: September 1972

Education: DeSales University Occupation: Controller, County of Bucks

Qualifications: With over 20 years of experience in technology with a financial specialty, mixed with my 8+ years in township leadership, I have a unique skillset to improve county government and guard taxpayer dollars.

My priority is to make government more efficient, less expensive and more transparent, and I have done so since becoming Controller less than a year ago. By utilizing my experience in finance and technology, I have implemented advances in scanning, purchasing and audits to help identify savings. I am placing more financial information online for public review than ever before. While I am – and always will be – a strong fiscal watchdog for taxpayers, I believe that public input is vital.

Newtown Borough Mayor (Four-year term)

Bernie Sauer, Republican

No response received

Charles F. Swartz III, Republican

No response received

Newtown Borough Tax Collector (Four-year term)

Regina Gairo, Democrat

Hometown: Newtown

DOB: March 1982

Education: Bachelor’s of Science from Philadelphia University

Occupation: Intake and Assessment Coordinator for a local non-profit. I complete comprehensive needs based assessments for families in Bucks County experiencing homelessness and maintain our waiting lists.

Qualifications: My position with BCHG requires daily interfacing with an online data management system. Additionally my work requires organization and communication skills.

The Office of Tax Collector needs to offer more support to its constituency. I would like to offer more information and actions on the website. I will be more accessible to Newtown Borough residents. I will bring my skills in office leadership and efficiency to the position. My years in social services has motivated me to continue in the public service sector. It has given me a strong ethical and moral compass.

Judy S. Musto, Republican

Hometown: Newtown

DOB: December 1963

Education: BS Engineering & Management

Occupation: Newtown Borough Secretary and Tax Collector

Qualifications: I have served Newtown Borough as an elected Tax Collector for 10 years. Given my experience, I believe I have earned the trust of my community to continue performing these important fiscal duties. I also meet the Act 48 requirements of a Qualified Tax Collector

Newtown Borough Council 1st Ward (Four-year term; Vote for no more than two)

Nicole Rodowicz, Democrat

Hometown: Newtown

DOB: May 1979

Education: B.S. in Business Administration, University of Pittsburgh

Occupation: Serves on Newtown Borough Recreation Board currently as the liaison. On February 8, 2017 she was appointed unanimously to Newtown Borough Council.

Qualifications: Volunteers in all aspects of the Borough Community.

In Newtown Borough, as we progress, we need to keep our streets safe, so that visitors and residents can walk freely around town. No one should feel unsafe while walking and people visiting our town need to respect our small streets. I propose that we work closely with police, start a walking safety event that teaches kids how to always cross at crosswalks and at the same time bring awareness to the community.

Marvin Cohen, Democrat

Hometown: Newtown

DOB: December 1954

Education: Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California, San Francisco Occupation: Medical Researcher

Qualifications: Current member of Newtown Borough Zoning Hearing Board

It is critical that the livability of Newtown Borough be retained and improved. I will promote the local business community because the ability for us, and particularly our pre-driving children, to walk downtown for a meal, a movie, or an item or service, is a great benefit in Newtown. I will support new development that is responsible and 104 support existing homeowners having the flexibility to renovate their homes to modern lifestyle while retaining Newtown’s character.

Paul Salvatore, Republican

Hometown: Newtown

DOB: July 1956

Education: Bucks County Community College

Occupation: Realtor/employee DRJBC

Qualifications: Commercial and residential realtor with background in land development, former member of planning commission, traffic/parking committee, 34 year member of Newtown Rotary, past president Newtown Business Association, vice president Bucks County Housing Development Corporation, community volunteer for Arbor Day, Library Run and many other community events

Keeping the taxes low while maintaining police, fire, road services and our quality of life. Newtown Borough is in the midst of the largest development project in its history, the financial benefits from this development through transfer tax and earned income tax can go a long way to maintain these services. With my qualifications and over 30 years of service to Newtown community, I would be honored to be elected to serve on Newtown Borough Council.

Newtown Borough Council 2nd Ward (Four-year term)

Julia W. Woldorf, Democrat

Hometown: Newtown

DOB: March 1950

Education: B.A., Swarthmore College; PT Certificate and Master of Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania

Occupation: Physical Therapist Qualifications: Newtown Borough Council Member 2008-2011, Council President 2010-2011; member and past chair of Newtown Borough’s Environmental Advisory Council; Project Coordinator Newtown Common and Creek Restoration Project; President of non-profit Newtown Creek Coalition.

Newtown Borough lacks a good plan for the future. I intend to be instrumental in developing a new vision, with planning focused on public and infrastructure improvements, and will encourage residents and business owners to participate and share their ideas. I will propose ways to enhance our business district protect our historic resources and add more parks. With a plan for potential improvements, we will be ready when opportunities arise or new funding becomes available.

Christopher Gusty, Republican

Hometown: Newtown

DOB: September 1960

Education: BE Chemical Engineering, Manhattan College; MBA Finance, LaSalle University

Occupation: General Manager, Associated Asphalt–Mid Atlantic Region Qualifications: 25-year resident connected to the community with strong business background and four years on Council serving on finance, streets/roads, and personnel committees.

The number one issue facing Newtown Borough is controlling taxes while maintaining the quality of services our residents expect their elected officials to deliver. We must also maintain our infrastructure. This is done through effect management of Newtown Borough expenses. I’ve addressed this during the three plus years I have been serving on Borough Council by understanding our income and expenses and what we can do to best manage those within our control.

Newtown Township Small Games of Chance Referendum (Vote Yes or No)

The Pennsylvania Local Option Small Games of Chance Act authorizes eligible nonprofit organizations to obtain a license from the Bucks County Treasurer to conduct small games of chance to raise funds to promote their charitable or civic purposes. “Small Games of Chance” are defined as punchboards, daily drawings, raffles, and pull-tabs. Eligible organizations include nonprofit charitable, religious, fraternal, and veterans organizations, clubs, and civic and service associations. The Bucks County Treasurer can issue licenses to eligible organizations to conduct small games of chance if the voters approve the issuance of such licenses within Newtown Township. A “Yes” vote on this ballot question will authorize the Bucks County Treasurer to issue licenses to eligible organizations to conduct small games of chance in Newtown Township.

Newtown Township Supervisor (Two-year term)

John Mack, Democrat

Hometown: Newtown

DOB: February 1947

Education: Columbia University of Physicians and Surgeons, MS, MPhil (Biochemistry); New York Institute of Technology, MA (Communications); Franklin & Marshall College, BA (Chemistry)

Occupation: Publisher of Pharmaceutical Industry Newsletter

Qualifications: As a board member of the Country Bend Home Owners Association, I led the effort for major capital improvements without increasing member fees and I increased governing transparency and homeowner participation through technology.

Overdevelopment coupled with a crumbling infrastructure (e.g., roads, parks, trails) and financial problems threaten the quality of life in Newtown. We need dedicated leadership willing to take a fresh approach to solve these problems by putting the best interest of the residents first.

Gerry Couch, Republican

Hometown: Newtown

DOB: Not given

Education: Bachelors Degree, Business Admin Occupation: Financial Advisor

Qualifications: 20 years as Senior Executive, 6 years in Financial Services, Decorated Viet Nam Vet. Active in many civic organizations: Newtown Business, Newtown Merchants Group, Newtown Economic Development. Father of two, Grandfather of three, husband of one.

I believe local government must remain focused on local issues. As Supervisor, I will continue to do so. I will use my financial acumen to deliver strong fiscal oversight for taxpayers, and my business experience to attract new jobs, to preserving our community’s character, my focus is to do what is best for my hometown. I am thankful for teammates, Laure Gensbauer and Jerry Festa—who will always work the same way. Vote Republican Team!

Newtown Township Supervisor (Six-year term; Vote for no more than two)

Phil Calabro, Democrat

Hometown: Newtown

DOB: February 1958

Education: BA in Public Administration, Trenton State College (College of NJ) Occupation: Marketing/Sales

Qualifications: 2-term Township Supervisor

Maintaining the integrity of Newtown Township by making sure that builders and business owners follow our zoning and adhere to their contracts. We can be business friendly and enforce the rules; making it fair for all those doing business in the township. Transparency should be a priority when it comes to letting the people know what is going on in their township. Our duty is to keep a high quality of life and great services for our residents while being fiscally responsible.

Linda Bobrin, Democrat

Hometown: Newtown

DOB: November 1960

Education: J.D. degree from the Widener School of Law 107

Occupation: I have maintained my own practice for the past 21 years. Qualifications: I am responsible for the legal and financial success of my business and spend time counseling and advocating for my clients, skills I can transfer to public service.

The number one issue is balancing community growth and the unique historic charm of the township. Local government has the obligation to be responsive to the community, maintain infrastructure and financial integrity in the township. I work with administrative agencies on state and federal levels, and have the skills needed in a township supervisor. Competence, integrity and transparency are the attributes that drive my business and are the assets required in a successful public servant.

Newtown Township Tax Collector (Four-year term)

Alisa Monteiro, Democrat

Hometown: Newtown

DOB: July 1968

Education: Bachelor’s Degree from Bloomsburg University and an MBA in Finance from LaSalle University

Occupation: Director of Project Management, overseeing clinical research trials in oncology for PPD, Inc.

Qualifications: Include managing competing priorities and being responsible for multiple million dollar accounts for biotech clients.

The most important issue as tax collector will be to simplify and improve the methods of payment available to taxpayers to pay their taxes. Maximizing convenience will help ensure payments are collected in a cost-effect and timely manner. My experience in project management and having an MBA in finance give me the expertise to deliver on this priority.

Tammy L. Sutton, Republican

Hometown: Newtown

DOB: Not given Education: Graduate, Central Bucks High School East

Occupation: Municipal Tax Collector

Qualifications: Seventeen years of experience as current Tax Collector. Certified Pennsylvania Qualified Municipal Collector for state of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Tax Collectors Association. Ten years holding positions as Office Manager and accounts payable and receivable staff.

As your Tax Collector, providing accurate and reliable service has always been the first priority I address when operating the tax office. There are a multitude of functions and processes that play a part in providing accurate and reliable service. From compliance with 108 tax collection law and outstanding relationships with the taxing authorities, to offering online payment options, email reminders and automated payment processing to improve convenience and efficiency. Service is my first priority.

Newtown Township Auditor (Six-year term)

Dennis Fisher, Democrat

Hometown: Newtown

DOB: November 1953

Education: Master of Music (Music Therapy), University of Miami. Post graduate studies in Healthcare Administration, Penn State

Occupation: Program Director, The Behavioral Health Training Education Network, Philadelphia

Qualifications: Treasurer of a regional Mental Health non-profit with responsibility to report on a $10 million budget similar in size and scope of Newtown Township

As it pertains to the position of Auditor in Newtown Township, I believe it is important to have bipartisan oversight of the governing body’s financial operations. Such accountability is critical in these times to prevent conflicts of interest and promote fiscal responsibility. All citizens of Newtown Township should have representation in this oversight.

Alexandra Gallagher, Republican

No response received

Upper Makefield Supervisor (Six-year term; Vote for no more than two)

Kris Ballerini, Democrat

Hometown: Upper Makefield

DOB: July 1966

Education: Santa Fe College, Gainesville FL (English)

Occupation: Actress, VO Artist 3

Qualifications: Twenty year Bucks County resident, Testified successfully for HB1264, Victims Advocate for ten years, PA Speakers Bureau, Produced PSA series for Homeless issue in Bucks County

The largest issue facing our community is the threat of an alternate route to the Penn East Pipeline. This is an issue where leadership is critical. We will have only one opportunity to make sure this pipeline is done correctly with no impact on the quality of our water, our land, and our way of life. I will actively work toward joining with our surrounding municipalities and the county of Bucks to make sure environmental evaluations are done on the route and the alternative route.

Edward J Ford, Republican

No response received

Daniel F Rattigan, Republican

No response received

Upper Makefield Tax Collector (Four-year term)

Tom Merchant, Democrat

Hometown: Washington’s Crossing

DOB: Not given

Education: Graduate degree in Chemistry, Law Degree from Temple University

Occupation: Business Consultant to pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Former Vice-President of corporate legal group and Vice-President of internal audit group. Former Chairman of Board of condominium association.

Qualifications: My legal and audit background and training make me particularly well suited for this position.

My top priority will be to apply the learning I obtained as a corporate lawyer and internal auditor executive to assure that we use the latest modern 140 technology to run the office smoothly and efficiently. Our residents deserve fast, efficient, and friendly service.

Nicholas J Ettorre, Republican

Hometown: Washington Crossing

DOB: Not given

Education: St. Joseph’s University, B.S. Accounting Occupation: Tax collector – Upper Makefield Township

Qualifications: 16 years as current Tax Collector. Qualified Tax Collector with extra courses for current updates and changes.

Continue to strive for more land preservation to keep the community as open as possible. Look for reasonable commercial and retail development where possible. Work with the residents to give them the continued services they have requested over the years.

Upper Makefield Auditor (Six-year term)

No candidates

Wrightstown Supervisor (Six-year term)

Robert Lloyd, Republican

Hometown: Wrightstown

DOB: April 1964

Education: BS Electrical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University; MS Computer and Software Engineering, Widener University

Occupation: Manager, Telecommunications

Qualifications: 12 years experience as Wrightstown Township Supervisor, 4 years Wrightstown Township Planning Commission and Newtown Area Joint Planning Commission

Most residents of Wrightstown Township chose to live here because of it’s rural beauty and because it is a safe, quiet place to live. The board has worked hard during my first two terms to maintain Wrightstown’s rural nature. We have used the municipal planning process and our zoning laws to manage development and to preserve open space. We also maintain a focus on public safety at all times.

Wrightstown Tax Collector (Four-year term)

Greg Soto, Republican

No response received

Wrightstown Auditor (Six-year term)

David DelBianco, Republican

No response received

About the author