Tuesday’s primary election determined the candidates who will vie for the three Bucks County Commissioners seats up for election.
Incumbent Commissioner Gene DiGirolamo, of Bensalem Township, and Bucks County Controller Pamela Van Blunk, of Doylestown Township, will lead the Republican ticket, while incumbent Democratic Commissioners Bob Harvie, of Falls Township, and Diane Ellis-Marseglia, of Middletown Township, will be the candidates for their party.
Former Commissioner Andy Warren, of Middletown Township, ran against DiGirolamo and Van Blunk in the primary, but he was defeated Tuesday, according to preliminary results.
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 2019 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.
DiGirolamo, the Republican incumbent, took office in 2020 after the previous Republicans lost the majority.
The Bucks County Commissioners contest is seen by both Democrats and Republicans as important to win and a bellwether ahead of the 2024 U.S. senate and presidential elections. Seven figures are predicted to be spent on the race.
Ellis-Marseglia is the longest-serving commissioner presently in office. Harvie took his seat after being a teacher and DiGirolamo was a state representative.