Turnout was light for Tuesday’s general election in the DelVal area, with school board races on the front burner in many areas, as parents who became newly aware of their children’s curriculum thanks to in-home learning during the pandemic came out to vote.
The Back to School PA funded some 300 candidates statewide with more than $500,000 largely from Bucks County hedge fund partner Paul Martino. Its driving force is the idea that kids need in-class learning and the fear the school boards would once again cave to the teacher’s unions and close the schools. While Back to School PAC funded a substantial number of school board candidates, the state teacher’s union gave more to support school board candidates and has for years, said Clarice Schillinger, executive director of Back to School PA.
“Regardless of our wins, our children have gained thousands of community members standing up for their education, and to us, that is a huge win. Back to School PA set out to bipartisanly bring advocates and candidates together who believe in-person education is essential and we can proudly say we accomplished just that,” said Schillinger.
In Chester County, the in-person voting appeared to show the Republican candidates winning the various county row offices late Tuesday evening. However, Chester County GOP Chairman Dr. Gordon Eck pointed out some 28,000 mail-in ballots had not been counted, and another 5,000 might come in on Wednesday so that could change the results of those races.
“We’ll see what tomorrow brings,” Eck said.
One race that was hotly fought was the Bucks County district attorney position. With 34 percent of the vote in at midnight, incumbent Republican Matthew Weintraub was ahead 58 percent to challenger Antonette Stancu’s 41 percent.
Weintraub posted this message to his campaign Facebook page: “Since the day I first stepped foot in the DA’s office as an intern during my Temple law school days, I knew I had found my true calling. Thank you for the opportunity to serve as your DA during the last 5 years. I look forward to continuing as your District Attorney and on this Election Day, I ask for your vote.”
Later Tuesday evening he said, “Everyone has been so supportive. I’m excited to continue to serve the people of Bucks County as district attorney.”
At midnight, with 57 percent of the vote tallied in Delaware County, the races for sheriff and county council were too close to call.
Incumbent Sheriff Jerry Sanders, a Democrat, had 48,95 percent of the vote and challenger Republican Larry Weigand had 50.05 percent. The county council races showed Republican Joseph Lombardi ahead with 25.41 percent, closely followed by the two Democrats, Richard Womack and Kevin Madden and Republican Frank Agovino.
Meanwhile, Montgomery County Democratic Chair Joe Foster was pleased that his voters turned out Tuesday.
“Generally, the day was good and it appears that Democrats had about mid-30s percent turnout,” said Foster. “We are hoping that it turns out to be 40 percent or thereabouts but we will have to wait to see. It was low voter turnout but seemed to pick up beginning (in the) afternoon. So we will see.”
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