Montgomery County Commissioner Ken Lawrence is not seeking re-election

A man stands at a podium with a bus visible behind him.

Ken Lawrence is vice chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

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Montgomery County will see major changes in leadership next year.

County Commissioner Ken Lawrence (D) announced on Facebook that he will not seek re-election when his term expires by the end of 2023.

Lawrence will have served as commissioner for seven years.

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“I never contemplated how long I would serve when I began this journey, but after a lot of thought and discussion with my family, it’s clear to me that ‘four more years’ is too long,” said Lawrence in his Facebook post. “There have been high and low moments over the past six years, but through it all, I have considered it a privilege to be a public servant in Montgomery County.”

Lawrence did not respond to WHYY News’ request for comment in time for publication.

Now-former Chairperson Val Arkoosh resigned from her seat effective Jan. 17. She was tapped by Gov. Josh Shapiro to be Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Human Services.

So far, that leaves two county commissioner seats without incumbents in the May primary elections.

Republican Commissioner Joe Gale has not yet announced if he will seek re-election.

The county court administrator’s office is taking applications to fill Arkoosh’s seat until Jan. 23. Only Montgomery County residents and registered Democrats are eligible for the position.

The county’s Board of Judges will interview candidates and vote. Main Line Media News reports that the county has received twelve applications so far.

According to an email from Montgomery County Democratic Committee Chair Jason Salus, the organization was collecting applications for those interested in serving as commissioner so it could “make a recommendation to the Court to fill the vacancy.” The MCDC said they would invite applicants for screening interviews on Jan. 21, 22, or 23.

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

The chosen commissioner will fill Arkoosh’s seat until the end of her term this year. That commissioner can also decide to run in the May primary and potentially serve a full term of four years.

Until a new commissioner is chosen, Vice Chairperson Lawrence will lead the commissioners’ meetings.

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