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Bucks County GOP Sued Over 2022 Party Officers’ Election, Bylaws

Just as the fall election season is about to begin, the Bucks County Republican Committee and the state GOP, along with the party officers, were hit with a lawsuit by a Hatfield man who ran for party chair last year and lost.

First filed in July in Common Pleas Court, withdrawn, then refiled last Friday, the suit by Barry Casper and some 50 other local party members allege the Bucks committee did not have proper bylaws in place for the June 2022 election, when Pat Poprik was reelected party chair.

“This is so much sour grapes,” said Poprik. “He ran for state committee. Our voters rejected him. He did not win…Then he ran against me on the day of our election. He ran for chairman. He lost 302-100. I mean, substantial…So after I beat him for chair, he turns around and runs for vice chair…And he ran, and we beat him again. So, this man has been beaten by the voters and by the committee people, but he just won’t stop.

“This is sour grapes, and he’s blaming his loss on our bylaws,” said Poprik. “He should look in the mirror.”

Andrew Teitelman, who represents Casper, said it is more complicated than that, claiming the bylaws are bogus.

As a nonprofit, the Bucks GOP cannot have proxy voting, Teitelman said. Yet he said proxy voting took place. Also, he claimed there are no “valid bylaws” on file with the Board of Elections or the state GOP.

Also, the Bucks’ bylaws date to 1972, he said. Back then, there were no word processors, only typewriters.

“We know because of the type style, (the bylaws) were not done on an IBM Selectric or other typewriter,” said Teitelman. “The style of the footer you’re looking at…on that document was something mostly found in the 1990s and is still used to this day.”

“So, there is something wrong with that,” he said. But later, he said a different copy of the bylaws, done on a typewriter, replaced the previous copy two weeks after they raised questions. Before filing the lawsuit, they had also filed an ethics complaint with the state GOP in January. But, “they brushed it under the rug, saying they did not feel it was within their purview.”

DVJournal asked Teitelman why his client was filing a lawsuit now with a county election looming.

“We’re always coming up on an election,” he said. He noted 50 committee members are a sizable portion of the 400 total.

Joel Frank, the lawyer representing the Bucks County GOP, said, “We believe the lawsuit to be baseless, and it will certainly be vigorously defended by the Bucks County Republican Committee and its officers.”

Poprik said, “This is not something we need now. Believe me; we’re going to defend this right now. I’m focused on the election, and that’s what I’m going to focus on…They don’t like our bylaws. That’s the bottom line. But that’s what they are. They’ve worked since 1967. These are the bylaws we have.”

Teitelman said, “I know what I signed isn’t frivolous.”

As a remedy, the plaintiffs are asking the court to require that Casper be installed as chair instead of Poprik or appoint interim officers and have the party form a committee to rewrite its bylaws and then hold another election.

“We probably would have been satisfied with a negotiated settlement, but they’re ignoring us,” said Teitelman, who is handling the case pro bono. “They’re giving us the middle finger. We had no choice but to proceed to court. Otherwise, there’s no remedy at all.”


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Bucks County GOP Announces 2023 Recommended Candidates

The Bucks County Republican Committee announced its team of recommended candidates for the 2023 county elections.

The local Republican committee members held area meetings to screen candidates for Court of Common Pleas, county commissioner, register of wills, treasurer, clerk of courts, and coroner and then voted on their recommendations.

These regional votes were confirmed by a vote of the Executive Committee, made up of representatives from across Bucks County. The candidates listed below earned the overwhelming support of the Bucks County Republican Committee.

“We are proud to recommend to the voters of Bucks County this qualified, experienced, and dedicated team of candidates,” said Bucks County GOP Chair Patricia Poprik.  “Our strong ticket of candidates is ready to get to work protecting our community, supporting our families, and restoring fiscal discipline to county government.”

Republicans in Bucks County are hoping to repeat 2021’s elections, where the GOP candidates won all the open county races.  While Republicans in Delaware and Chester counties are struggling to keep those counties purple and Montgomery County is at this point solidly blue, Bucks County has been leaning Republican.

Back L to R): Charles Stockert, Matt Weintraub, Jeff Hall-Gale, Gene DiGirolamo (Front L to R): Sherry Labs, Pamela Van Blunk, Robyn Goodnoe

The party endorsed DA Matt Weintraub for Common Pleas judge.  Weintraub, who lives in Doylestown, is a Bucks County native with over a quarter-century of experience as a prosecutor. He has prosecuted more than 100 criminal cases, including the successful prosecution of the killers of teenager Grace Packer and musician Danny DeGennaro.  In another controversial case, he was also instrumental bringing Cosmo DiNardo to justice for murdering four young men in Solebury Township.

As district attorney, he has also worked with community partners to combat the opioid epidemic and to reduce the overall number of prosecutions by diverting more offenders into treatment programs at the earliest stages of their involvement with the justice system.

Poprik called Weintraub “exemplary.”

His clear mission is the relentless pursuit of justice and keeping Bucks County families safe, Poprik said.

Gene DiGirolamo has served as Bucks County Commissioner since his election in 2019. During his first term, Commissioner DiGirolamo delivered results for Bucks County families on the issues that matter most, said Poprik.

Continuing his decades-long advocacy on behalf of drug treatment and prevention programs, the Bensalem resident was selected to represent Southeastern Pennsylvania on the Pennsylvania Opioid Misuse and Addiction Abatement Trust.

Additionally, DiGirolamo was instrumental in providing security at the county’s election drop boxes, she said.  By championing the policy that each drop box is monitored by a camera and staffed by ballot clerks, DiGirolamo has helped to protect the integrity of our local elections, she said.

DiGirolamo has also been a voice for fiscal responsibility on the Board of Commissioners, fighting to protect taxpayer dollars, she said.

Before he was elected county commissioner, DiGirolamo served as Bensalem Township auditor and spent 25 years representing the 18th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

The Bucks GOP also endorsed Pamela Van Blunk for commissioner.

Van Blunk currently serves as Bucks County controller acting as the fiscal watchdog. Van Blunk, a Doylestown resident, said that she believes that Bucks County families deserve someone fighting for them every day.  As the controller, she has seen firsthand the challenges the county faces.

From holding county government accountable and promoting responsible economic growth to combating the opioid crisis and keeping our streets safe, Van Blunk promised to make Bucks County an even better place to live, work and raise families.

Before taking office, she was, and is, an experienced litigation attorney. Van Blunk attended law school as a single mother with three young children, graduating cum laude from Widener University’s Delaware Law School. She received her B.S. from Rutgers University Newark College of Arts and Sciences.

For treasurer, the Bucks GOP endorsed Sherry Labs.

Labs, of Plumstead Township, has served as tax collector for her community for the past 26 years. A leader both in the County and State Tax Collector Associations, Labs has worked diligently for the taxpayers of Bucks County, Poprik said.  Labs previously served as the second deputy in the county Treasurer’s Office and will bring experience and professionalism to the office, Poprik added.

The Bucks County Republicans tapped Robyn Goodnoe for register of wills.

Goodnoe brings to the race nearly a decade of experience in county government, including five years working in the Register of Wills Office. During a routine audit of the department by the Pennsylvania office of the Auditor General, the report found that “Robyn’s records are superb.” Goodnoe, a Richland Township resident, will bring this professionalism and attention to detail to the position of register of wills, said Poprik.

Jeff Hall-Gale is the endorsed candidate for clerk of courts. A Lower Makefield resident, he is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.  After graduating from Villanova University School of Law, Hall-Gale clerked for a Franklin/Fulton County Court of Common Pleas judge, where he learned how Pennsylvania’s court system operates.  Hall-Gale is a former investigator for the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Office of Attorney Ethics and currently works in private practice at an area law firm.

The GOP endorsed Hilltown resident Charles “Chuck” Stockert, for coroner. A former deputy coroner in the Bucks County Coroner’s Office, Stockert earned numerous state and national certifications.  Stockert has spent his life serving our community, including as a local fire Chief, EMT, and police officer in Telford and Franconia said Poprik.

She said he also has experience working for Steeley Funeral Home providing compassionate care for grieving families.

“Chuck will bring an intimate knowledge of the County Coroner’s office, as well as decades of public service,” said Poprik.

These recommended candidates will be joined on the ballot by statewide candidates Judge Carolyn Carluccio for Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Judge Harry Smail Jr. and Maria Battista for PA Superior Court, and Megan Martin for Commonwealth Court.  The candidates for statewide office were endorsed at a meeting of the Republican State Committee in early February.

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