Montgomery County Commissioners: Three, Down to Two; Back to Three; Back to Two; Back to Three

empty chair arkoosh
Image via iStock.

The current Montgomery County Board of Commissioners vacancy — created when Valerie Arkoosh joined the Shapiro administration — is heading toward being filled. Emily Rizzo, WHYY, detailed the process.

Soon after the Arkoosh exit, the county court administrator’s office began taking candidate applications; this process closes Jan. 23.

This much is known about Arkoosh’s replacement: He or she will be a registered Democrat. County code states that a candidate filling a commissioner’s vacancy must be of the same political party as the exiting incumbent.

When the nomination window closes, the county’s Board of Judges will then interview candidates and vote.

The new commissioner will fill the Arkoosh seat until the end of her service term.

After that, the interim may choose to launch a campaign during May primaries, seeking a four-year spot of his or her own.

Montgomery County spokesperson Kelly Cofrancisco said county officials are “hoping” to have the seat filled by the next commissioners’ meeting on Feb. 2.

“But it’s unclear,” Cofrancisco said. “Ideally, we would have a replacement named by that date. But it’s not our process; it’s the court’s process.”

Presently, the two remaining commissioners — Ken Lawrence and Joe Gale — continue exercising the county’s business, with former vice-chair Lawrence in the primary spot.

Lawrence’s announced retirement from the board won’t occur until the end of 2023, at which time a similar process will return the number of county leaders on the board to three.

More on the process to replace Arkoosh is at WHYY.

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