Bernie Sauer, a small business owner from Newtown Borough, will be the Republican challenger to Democrat Perry Warren in the 31st state House district.
With all districts reporting, but some provisional and mail ballots left to count, Sauer had 4,802 votes to 4,116 cast for Jennifer Spillane, a marketing executive from Lower Makefield. As of Wednesday morning, the vast majority of votes cast in Tuesday’s primary had been tallied, and the Bucks County Board of Elections was working to determine the number of outstanding ballots.
Sauer was not ready to declare victory Wednesday morning, but Spillane conceded the race.
"I wish Bernie all the best in his bid against Perry Warren in November," she said.
Warren was unopposed in his party's primary.
In an interview Wednesday, Sauer said he knew the Bucks County Republican Party had some divisive issues and now was the time for party members to join together in support of candidates in the general election. "It's very important now for the candidates," he said.
LIVE RESULTS:Bucks County 2022 primary election results
Sauer is critical of "liberal government policies on spending" that he says are leading to "massive inflation," and also said he would work to rein in state spending.
Sauer received the endorsement of the Bucks County Republican Committee. As he visited the polls on Election Day in Lower Makefield, he said that if he won, his focus for the fall campaign will be on drug prevention. He works on a youth aid panel and said, "I'm seeing a lot of youths experimenting with drugs. It's very concerning. I want to see law enforcement has the tools to combat the excessive drug use."
He also would like to bring property taxes lower for seniors and reduce the tax on gasoline.
He said that taking on an incumbent like Warren will be a challenge but a civil one. "I like Perry very much," he said. "I respect him." He said that the race will focus on the issues if he wins the Republican primary and faces Warren in the fall general election.
Spillane, a former teacher, said she was "so proud of the campaign we ran. The amazing grassroots movement in Bucks County continues to grow, demand real change...I look forward to continuing our momentum. I'm so grateful to everyone who supported me along the way − I couldn't have done it without all of them."
The 31st district includes Lower Makefield, Newtown Borough and Newtown Township, Yardley and parts of Morrisville.
This article originally appeared on Bucks County Courier Times: Bernie Sauer winner in in GOP primary for 31st state House in Bucks County