Bucks County Coroner Meredith Buck, a Democrat, is running for reelection,
Buck, a Central Bucks County resident, on Tuesday announced she will be running to keep her seat in 2023. She was first elected in 2019 and assumed office in early 2020.
All fatalities that are not the result of a natural disease or that cannot be properly confirmed by a licensed physician based on prior medical attendance must be investigated and certified by the coroner, according to state law. Additionally, the office maintains records, produces documents, and supports outside authorities during death investigations.
Buck, an attorney and registered nurse, has been in charge of managing the investigations of more than 6,800 death cases since January 2020 and the issuing of more than 12,000 cremation permits. She has led the office through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I took office in January 2020, and within six weeks the global pandemic struck. My office had to quickly adapt and I was honored to help shepherd our community through this unprecedented crisis,” Buck said.
“As an attorney, Buck understands the legalities involved in her job and knew right away all COVID-19 related deaths were statutorily required to be investigated by the Coroner’s Office. In addition to the increased case load caused by the pandemic, she was responsible for providing guidance to all Bucks County hospitals, long-term care facilities, and funeral homes on how to handle the deaths caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Throughout the pandemic she identified gaps and helped to provide Bucks County funeral directors with personal protective equipment (PPE) and get them moved up to the first vaccine phase, as they were often forgotten,” he campaign said in a statement. They added her office has worked to reunite unclaimed remains with family members and laying veterans to rest.
The coroner pointed to her oversight of the office and working with law enforcement, the health department, and grieving families.
Buck has also clashed with the Bucks County Commissioners – two Democrats and one Republican – over her office’s budget during her term. Her announcement press release notes her time in office has been “riddled with barriers and complications” that she was navigated.
“I truly care about what we do and I am not afraid to do what it takes to get the job done,” she said.
No other Democrats have announced they plan to challenge Buck, and Republicans haven’t announced any candidates for coroner.