Bucks Professors Talk PA-01 Congressional Race In PCN Panel

BCCC Professor Bill Pezza speaks as part of "PCN on the Road"

A trio of professors from colleges in Bucks County joined “PCN On the Road” with the Pennsylvania Cable Network Thursday to discuss the race for the first congressional district.

Bristol Borough’s Bill Pezza was part of the panel. Pezza is a professor of History and Government at Bucks County Community College.

John Diehl, a professor of social studies at BCCC, and Craig Stutman, a professor of history and public policy at Delaware Valley University, also joined the panel.

All three professors agreed Bucks is trending more Democrat in recent years, though Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick has name recognition and more cash on hand as advantages over Democratic challenger Christina Finello.

In recent years, Democrats have gained a 30,000 voter registration advantage over Republicans, according to Pezza. While Bucks has voted red for six of the last eight Congressional races, the past two years have marked significant gains for Democrats in county offices.

Pezza also pointed out Fitzpatrick was one of three Republicans in the House to survive the “blue wave” of 2018. Now, with less than two months before the election, Fitzpatrick has $1.7 million in cash on hand compared to $300,000 for Finello.

Stutman pointed contrasted Finello with former candidate Scott Wallace, who lost to Fitzpatrick in 2018. He said while Wallace seemed like an outsider, Finello does not have this issue.

The three professors also agreed Fitzpatrick has taken care to position himself as a moderate during his time in office. Diehl pointed to Georgetown University ranking Fitzpatrick as the most bipartisan member of the House.

Students also joined the discussion, saying the pandemic is making them more engaged in local races instead of just the presidential election.

“I think there’s a lot of frustration here,” said Jessica Voutsinas, who is one of Pezza’s students. “We’ve been in a state of partial lockdown for maybe six months now. I think it’s been frustrating to watch other states reopen very quickly or try to rush students into schools.’

The full show broadcasts Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.