Montgomery County Commissioner

    arkoosh

    Val Arkoosh (D)

    Need to Know

    Current vice-chair of the board of commissioners.
    An anesthesiologist by training, she touts a background in public health.
    Running a joint campaign with Josh Shapiro, on the platform of fiscal responsibility (without tax increases) and preserving open space.

    Bio

    A transplant from Nebraska, Val Arkoosh, 55, lives in Springfield Township. She moved to Philadelphia for her medical residency, and stayed to practice obstetric anesthesiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. According to the candidate, she became interested politics and policy as an extension of public health. Before running for office in 2013, she was the President president of the National Physicians Alliance, a professional body with a focus on community health, and chair of the Montgomery County Board of Health.


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    gale

    Joe Gale (R)

    Need to Know

    Officially unendorsed by Republicans, he knocked out a party-backed candidate in the May primary by running an anti-abortion campaign.
    Promises to end “politics as usual” if elected, and his grassroots campaign includes “Cup of Joe” get togethers in people’s homes.
    At 26, the youngest name on the ballot and the only candidate without prior political experience.

    Bio

    Joe Gale, 26, is from Landsdale and has never held political office, though he maintains he has been active in conservative groups from a young age. Since graduating from Temple University with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Real Estate, he has worked for the Montgomery Recorder of Deeds Office and NVR, a home building company. At 23, he ran for a council position in Plymouth Township and lost. He said his pro-life stance was one of his main motivations for getting into the race, and maintains that “moral character” is a big part of his campaign. He promises to be tougher on crime in Norristown and vote against tax increases.


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    shapiro

    Josh Shapiro (D)

    Need to Know

    Current chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
    Previously state representative for the 141st District.
    Running a joint campaign with Val Arkoosh, on the platform of fiscal responsibility (without tax increases) and preserving open space.

    Bio

    Josh Shapiro, 42, was born in Abington. He attended the University of Rochester in New York for undergrad and went on to receive a law degree from Georgetown University. His political experience includes seven years as Pennsylvania state representative in the 141st District. Elected in 2011, he is the firs Democrat to chair the Montgomery County Commission in over 140 years. Shapiro is also the chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, appointed by Governor Tom Wolf. His name has been floated as possible candidate for Pennsylvania Attorney General in 2016.


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    tolbert

    Stephen Tolbert (R)

    Need to Know

    Served in Iraq 2007-2008 as a member of the US National Guard; he is now a member of the Army Reserves.
    Elected to the board of commissioner for West Norriton Township in 2014.
    Teaches economics and finance at Saint Joseph’s University and Bucks County Community College.

    Bio

    Born in Lower Merion, Tolbert, 38, has spent 30+ years in Montgomery County. He received a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from American University in Washington DC, as well as graduate degrees from Villanova University and the University of Delaware. A member of the US Army Reserves, Tolbert served in Iraq in 2007-2008. He has served on the West Norriton Township board of commissioners since 2014. He is the only party-backed candidate from the Republican party.


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