Local Politics | Eight vie for three seats on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners

Local Politics is an as-needed column on the political scene in Montgomery County filled with speculation, opinion, and more.

According to the unofficial list of candidates for the 2023 primary election released by Montgomery County, there are five Democrats and three Republicans vying for the three seats on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. In the primary, the two candidates with the most votes from each party will advance to the primary election.

Democratic Party voters will select from the following:

  • Tanya Bamford, a member of the Board of Supervisors in Montgomery Township (top left)
  • Kimberly Koch, a member of the Board of Supervisors in Whitpain Township (top, second to left)
  • Neil Makhija, attorney and Executive Director at Impact (top, second to right)
  • Noah Marlier, the current Prothonotary for Montgomery County (top right)
  • Jamila Winder, recently appointed Montgomery County Commissioner (bottom left)

Republican Party voters will select from the following:

  • Thomas DiBello, a former member of the Spring-Ford Area School Board (bottom second to left)
  • Liz Ferry, a member of the Board of Commissioners in Upper Dublin Township (bottom, second to right)
  • Joe Gale, incumbent Montgomery County Commissioner (bottom right)

What is happening on the Democratic Party side:

As MoreThanTheCurve.com has reported, Dr. Val Arkoosh resigned from the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners and Jamila Winder was appointed to fill the vacant seat. Shortly after that resignation, Montgomery County Commissioner Ken Lawrence announced that he would not seek re-election.

Prior to the party’s endorsement meeting in mid-February, party leaders advocated for Jamila Winder and State Representative Tim Briggs to receive the backing of the party’s committee members. Jamila Winder was endorsed, but the effort for a second endorsement failed. After the endorsement meeting, Briggs dropped out of the race.

Later in February, Winder announced that she had formed a slate with Kimberly Koch. This move has upset some in the party. While Koch isn’t endorsed, running with the single endorsed candidate is against the spirit of the open primary that some Democrats feel they had voted for in regard to the second seat.

What is happening on the Republican Party side:

Incumbent Joe Gale continues fighting with party leadership. Depending on who you ask, Gale either didn’t seek or wasn’t considered for the party’s endorsement. The party’s committee people endorsed Liz Ferry and Thomas DiBello in early March.

If Ferry and DiBello aren’t the two highest vote-getters in the Republican primary, one of the duo will be left to run with (and also against) Gale in the general election. Due to the Democrats’ edge in registration in the county, in the general election, the two Republicans are really competing against one another for the third seat on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners that is guaranteed to the candidate from a second party that receives the most votes.

Photo: Candidates’ campaigns