22 Residents Toss Hats into the Ring, Seeking to Join Montgomery County Board of Commissioners

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Local Democrats — 22 of them — have submitted their names and résumés in seeking to become the newest member of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. Rachel Ravina reported on all the hats in the ring for The Pottstown Mercury.

The hopefuls seek the slot vacated when former commissioner Valerie Arkoosh vacated her seat as part of the newly formed Gov. Shapiro administration. She is now acting secretary of the state’s Department of Human Services.

The candidates are:

  • Jason Bobst, West Norriton, township manager
  • Sonya Dore, Merion Station, cybersecurity lead
  • Danielle A. Duckett, Ambler, policy director
  • Liz Ferry, Ambler, Upper Dublin Township commissioner
  • Linda A. Fields, King of Prussia, former professional with Laborers Local 135
  • Richard Fiore, Schwenksville, RE/MAX agent
  • Brian A. Gordon, Merion Station, attorney at Gordon & Ashworth, P.C.
  • Robert Gilles, Jr., Northwoods, senior project manager at AP Construction
  • Mike Hays, Bridgeport, state representative constituent services advisor 
  • Neil Makhija, Penn Valley, executive director of Indian American Impact
  • Noah Marlier, Oreland, Montgomery County Prothonotary
  • Frank A. Mazzeo, Souderton, law firm partner
  • Martin Miller, Jefforsonville, clinical pharmacist
  • Aaron M. Moyer, Schwenksville, consultant
  • Kurtis C. Oakley, Norristown, Merck associate director
  • Raj Patel, Worcester, retired N.J. Dept. of Health manager
  • Rev. Vernon Ross, Jr., Jeffersonville, pastor
  • Michael Sokil, Wynnewood, with the Pa. Office of the Attorney General
  • James R. Waddington, Jr., Gilbertsville, senior director at Mercury Systems
  • Jamila Winder, Norristown, vice president with Lecturio
  • Soko J. Zabalou, Willow Grove, French teacher

Until a replacement is elected, the two sitting commissioners, Ken Lawrence and Joe Gale, will continue in their representative roles, with Lawrence leading all sessions.

His self-directed rotation off the roster of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners occurs Dec. 2023.

More on the nominees seeking to replace Arkoosh is at The Pottstown Mercury.


This short video explains what a county commissioner does; in this case, it’s a board from Texas, but the description is somewhat universal.

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