Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bucks County Candidates by Gender

Some time ago I looked at the history of women on the Bucks County Board of Commissioners. To take a current snapshot of the candidates for county wide office, I looked at the websites of the Bucks County Democrats ( and Bucks County Republicans (

Both parties list incumbent Court of Common Pleas James McMaster. Of the 13 judges listed on the court’s website, three have traditionally female names, including the president judge.

For county commissioner, the two Republican men (Charley Martin and Rob Loughery) and one Democratic woman (Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia) are running for re-election (or in Loughery’s case election, as he was appointed to fill out the term of now Lt Gov Jim Cawley). Det Ansinn, president of the Doylestown Borough Council and local businessman, rounds out the Democratic ticket.

Register of Wills is an open office. Republican Don Petrille is facing off against Democrat Donna M. Caracappa.

Clerk of Courts is currently held by Republican Mary Smithson. She is being challenged by Democrat Mary A. Whitesell. This is going to be a challenge for campaign workers, since the candidates share a first name and have similar sounding last names.

Incumbent county Treasurer Republican Bill Snyder, who has held the office for 32 years, faces Democratic challenger Tom Kearns, former Middletown Township tax collector and Middletown Supervisor.

Republican Dr. Joe Campbell has served as the county’s coroner for 12 years. He faces Democrat Dr. Umar Farooq.

Regardless of who wins, the offices of Treasurer, Coroner, and Court of Common Pleas judge will be held by men. The Clerk of Courts will be a woman. The Register of Wills will either be a Republican male or Democratic female.

Since three of the four candidates for County Board of Commissioners are men, at least two of the 2012 commissioners are guaranteed to be male. If Commissioner Ellis-Marseglia is re-elected there will be one woman on the board; otherwise it will be all male.

Does it matter? Depends on your point of view. Certainly men can and have represented the interests of all their constituents. I just like to keep track of these things. Over the next few days I’ll be doing the same analysis of Delaware and Montgomery County candidates.

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