Democratic Bucks County Commissioners Bob Harvie and Diane Ellis-Marseglia declared victory just before 11 p.m. on Tuesday.
Unofficial and incomplete results showed the Democrats ahead of Republicans Pam Van Blunk and incumbent Gene DiGirolamo as of 10:45 p.m. DiGirolamo had more votes than Van Blunk, and he was on track to retain his role as the minority commissioner.
Democrats felt they had the numbers that showed they would prove victorious in holding the majority on the Board of Commissioners.
“It’s a relief that all the personal attacks and lack of integrity, quite frankly, didn’t win,” Harvie said. “We feel we ran a good campaign on the record we compiled.”
“It really goes show that all that negativity and attacking people doesn’t help,” Ellis-Marseglia said.
Harvie and Ellis-Marseglia said they felt Democratic victories in Central Bucks County school board races certainly helped bolster their campaign and motivated voters.
Ellis-Marseglia said the commissioners plan to follow through on goals from the first term and expand mental health help and the co-responders program for law enforcement.
The victory declared by the Democrats would mark the first time since the Civil War era that Democratic commissioners have held the majority for two consecutive terms.
DiGirolamo and Van Blunk’s campaign did not immediately make them available for comment.
According to the state’s county code, county commissioners are elected every four years. The board of commissioners typically consists of two members from the majority party and one from the minority party, as determined by the vote totals. The officials oversee county government and the workforce spread throughout; control the budget for county government, the courts, and elected row offices; and appoint citizens to boards and authorities..
Democrats also declared Register of Wills Linda Bobrin and Treasurer Kris Ballerini would hold their seats. Eileen Albillar was declared the winner of the Clerk of Courts race against Jeff Hall Gale and Patti Campi beat out GOP candidate Charles Stockert for the coroner’s office.
Democrats and Republicans put heavy attention on the commissioners race, which was largely seen as a bellwether for the 2024 election cycle, one that includes races for a U.S. Senate seat and the presidency. Both campaigns spent more than $1 million on the election.
Harvie, Ellis-Marseglia, and DiGirolamo have served together since 2020 and they’ve passed nearly all the items on the commissioners’ agendas in a bipartisan fashion, with very few notable hang ups.
The Democratic campaign focused on the commissioners’ handling of COVID-19, the co-responder program, investment in mental health, and vows that the candidates were for a woman’s right to choose. The campaign painted Van Blunk as an extreme Republican who was aligned with former President Donald Trump.
The Republicans hit the Democrats on crime and focused on the fact Harvie had to testify before a federal grand jury, as first reported by LevittownNow.com.