Key Local Races Decided In Spring Primary With Low Voter Turnout

Local candidates and poll workers sit together outside at the Lower Bucks Government Services Center to help voters. Photo by Rick Rickman.

The unofficial election results are in for Bucks county’s spring primary. Voter turnout numbers show what everyone saw at the polls: low turnout.

A total of 121,340 Bucks Countians voted out of more than 476,000 registered voters. This amounts to a voter turnout of slightly more than 25 percent.

The Levittown Government Services Center Drop Box. Photo by Rick Rickman.

Poll workers at precincts throughout the county saw just a trickle. Even volunteers watching over the drop box at the Lower Bucks Government Services Center on New Falls Road reported just a “handful” of voters.

But while turnout was low compared to last November, it was fairly high to past similar primaries. Less than 45,000 voters total turned out in the 2017 primary.

Regardless of turnout, the elections have already made an impact.

Bensalem Public Safety Director Fred Harran ran unopposed in the Republican primary for Bucks County Sheriff. And now he knows who he will face in November.

Current Bucks County Sheriff Milt Warrell lost his bid for re-election in the Democratic primary by a whopping 56 points. Despite Warrell holding the seat, the Bucks County Democrats did not endorse him.

Instead, they endorsed Warrington Township Supervisor Mark Lomax. It made a clear impact. Lomax, a retired state trooper, won with nearly 78 percent.

Warrell framed the endorsement shift as being centered on the debate over whether to “defund the police.”

“I openly support our law enforcement and will not denounce that,” Warrell told the Bucks County Courier Times.

On the Republican side, the only row office contest was between Andy Warren and Pamela Van Blunk. The Bucks GOP endorsed Van Blunk, who beat Warren by 20 points.

Meantime, retired Bristol Township police officer Terry Hughes won support from both Republicans and Democrats in his bid for district judge at the Five Points courthouse.

Hughes, 66, ran against Rachel Wagner, 26. Wagner is the daughter of sitting judge Robert Wagner, who held the seat for 33 years before announcing his retirement in January.

Hughes topped Rachel Wagner by nearly 30 points for Democrats and 47 points for Republicans. With both victories, Hughes will not have a challenger in November.