Republican County Controller Throws Hat In Commissioners Race

Controller Pamela Van Blunk taking the oath of office.
Credit: Tom Sofield/NewtownPANow.com

Bucks County Controller Pamela Van Blunk said she believe she has what it takes to be a county commissioner.

Van Blunk, an attorney from Doylestown Township who became controller last year, is entering the Republican primary race, according to a statement released last week.

Van Blunk said she is running because she believes “Bucks County families deserve someone fighting for them each and every day.”

The elected row officer said she has seen the challenges the county faces going forward through her year of work as the controller, the elected chief financial officer and chief auditor for county government.

Van Blunk’s campaign touted her work as a litigation attorney and experience graduating cum laude from law school as a single mother with three young kids. She is currently married to her husband, Hank.

According to the state’s county code, county commissioners are elected every four years. Voters cast a ballot for two candidates and those with the highest vote tallies win. The commissioners are made up of two winning members from one party and one member from the party that received the least votes. They oversee county government and the workforce spread throughout; control the budget for county government, the courts, and elect row offices; and appoint citizens for boards and authorities.

Harvie and Ellis-Marseglia are the first Democratic majority on the Bucks County Commissioners since the late 1980s. Their win in one of the state’s largest and most influential counties was celebrated by the party statewide and made their seats ones that Democrats want to hold going forward.

Bucks County Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo, the Republican incumbent, is running for reelection.

Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo addressing a crowd at an event.
Credit: Tom Sofield/NewtownPANow.com

Former GOP Bucks County Commissioner Andy Warren is also running, according to several Republicans.

Several other Republicans have either been mulling over a bid or plan to announce in the coming weeks, Republican sources have told LevittownNow.com.

Democratic Commissioners Chairperson Bob Harvie, of Falls Township, and Vice Chairperson Diane Ellis-Marseglia, of Middletown Township, both incumbents, are seeking reelection. They announced their campaign in December.

The Bucks County Commissioners contest is seen by both Democrats and Republicans as important and a bellwether to the 2024 U.S. senate and presidential elections. Seven figures are predicted to be spent on the race.

Below is Van Blunk’s full statement on her run:

“In 2021, the people of Bucks County entrusted me to serve as their fiscal watchdog, and it is a responsibility that I have taken seriously.  I am proud of my record as our Controller, which includes:

Fighting for public safety by voting to approve additional necessary personnel for County law enforcement
Prioritizing the Fraud, Waste and Abuse Program to protect taxpayer dollars
Returning hundreds of thousands of dollars to their rightful owners through the Unclaimed Funds Program, which I initiated
Conducting an investigation concerning the safety and integrity of the County’s confidential data
Refusing to pay over six figures of improper invoices

I believe that Bucks County families deserve someone fighting for them each and every day.  As Controller, I have seen firsthand the challenges we face as a County.  I know that I can do more, and I must do more, on behalf of our community.

That is why today I am announcing my candidacy for Bucks County Commissioner.  From holding County government accountable and promoting responsible economic growth, to combating the opioid crisis and keeping our streets safe, I am committed to making Bucks County an even better place to live, work and raise our families.

I look forward to the opportunity to meet you, and your friends, family, and neighbors, throughout this campaign to hear your stories and share with you my plans for a better Bucks County.”

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.