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Cole bests Blanchard to win battle of Johns in Tinicum


Turning out in impressive numbers on a crisp November Election Day, Tinicum Township residents lived up to their historic passion around the importance of local elected governance.

Democrat John Cole was elected Tinicum’s newest supervisor Tuesday, replacing one-term supervisor James Helms, by a total of 967 votes to Republican John Blanchard’s 748.

The unofficial totals include all in-person voting results and the majority of mail-in ballots received and processed Tuesday night.

Use of mail-in ballots has increased in recent Bucks County elections. There were approximately 375 registered Democrat requests for mail-in ballots for this election cycle, and approximately 80 by Republican voters. This jives with national and Pennsylvania state trends in which Democrats tend to vote disproportionately by mail, while Republicans tend to vote disproportionately in person.

There had been a sense that this off-year election for township supervisor could bring out a meaningful turnout.

“There has indeed been a lot of enthusiasm,” stated Bill Cahill, President of Tinicum Bridgeton Democrats. “Tinicum has traditionally been an overachieving township, with a higher-than-average turnout in off-year elections across both parties.”

Cahill also feels the levels of participation by independent voters and “drop-off” voters who do not tend to participate in non-presidential elections were critical to the election results.

Since the May primary, it has been virtually impossible to drive across the township without encountering dueling campaign signage for the two township supervisor candidates.

Blanchard’s campaign focused squarely on his experience and accomplishments during his previous role as township supervisor from 2016 to 2021. Cole ran by emphasizing his numerous community service positions, in particular his active role on Tinicum’s planning commission since 2014.

Tinicum’s precincts are unique in that, unlike others throughout Bucks County, they have been named for local waterways — Delaware, Tohickon and Tinicum — as opposed to numbers.

According to unofficial tallies, Cole topped Blanchard in the Delaware precinct by a 347 to 214 margin. Blanchard won the Tinicum precinct with 295 to Cole’s 246. In the Tohickon precinct, Cole beat Blanchard 383 to 241.

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