Exclusive: Two Challenger’s for Bristol Borough Council Seats Set to Run
The worst kept secret in Bristol Borough became official Friday as two candidates entered the November General Election officially for seats on borough council, county officials confirmed Friday.
Andrew McMillan, who lost in the democratic primary by 32 votes to vice president of council Betty Rodriguez (181 to 149) and new comer Mike Brannigan will challenge May’s winner in the north ward, Maria Figueroa, who tallied 172 votes on primary day, will be on the ballot in November.
McMillan, received at least 10 write in votes from local Republicans to run on that side of the ballot, officials said. County data puts his final number at 17 write in votes on the Republican side.
McMillan, 35, currently away on family vacation told Lower Bucks Source late last week he was indeed in the race
“I would say this. I could have easily not ran to start or even gave up and decide not to run again in November. But I decided not to allow the obligations and/or beliefs of different parties stop me. I chose my passion to want to help my ward over the ideas and/or what’s ideal for individual people and parties,” he said.
His reentering the race has been just about worst kept secret operatives tried to keep since June when it became known, McMillan was leaning towards a second challenge of Rodriquez because of her narrow win in May.
McMillan, who moved to Bristol Borough a little more than five years ago, is a Marine Veteran who served two tours in Iraq, and fell in love with the borough about a year before buying a home on Locust Street.
We were house hunting in the borough on a Friday evening, and as we were leaving, my wife Alba, and I noticed a bunch of activity on Mill Street, he said.
“I’m pretty sure it was a First Friday event” he said, “What my wife and I noticed were all the racially mixed couples, and people at the event having a good time. We both knew from that moment on, we wanted to find a home here in Bristol Borough” he said.
Rodriguez is seeking a 5th term in office and declined to comment for this story.
Brannigan, 26 of Garden Street in the north ward is running as an independent versus Figueroa, who won the May Democratic Primary unchallenged. The seat has been held by David Girard, for the last two terms.
Girard said it was time for “new blood” on council thus his decision to not seek for a third term.
Brannigan, in the past has wanted to put his name on the ballot but decided to wait til after the primaries this year.
“Bristol Borough isn’t being heard town wide when it comes to certain issues, we need to ensure EVERYBODY (His Caps) is heard & knows how their tax money is spent. We need transparency and that word hasn’t come out of any mouth within this majority. It’s time to bring it back!,” he said on Friday to the publication.
Figueroa declined to comment on the race she now faces leading to November’s election.
Brannigan, a tile mechanic for the last 4.5 years for Tile All is has been rather outspoken on social media about issues facing Bristol Borough. Last week he started fire school as he is a volunteer at Goodwill Hose Fire Company #3 Station 52, since October 2012.
In the last municipal elections (2019) current northward councilman, Tony Devine, sat out the democratic primary and to decide later, he would seek reelection, as an independent winning his seat back by a small margin.
Brannigan seems to be following a similar game plan.