Pottstown Mercury: Dems retain control of Montco government, sweep row offices
Carl Hessler, Jr.
November 6, 2019
NORRISTOWN — Montgomery County Democrats retained their control of county government during Tuesday’s elections, maintaining their majority on the commissioners’ board and sweeping nine row office posts.
Democrats Val Arkoosh, of Springfield Township, and Kenneth E. Lawrence Jr., of Plymouth Meeting, handily won re-election to continue control of the three-member county commissioners’ board for another four years. Arkoosh, currently chairwoman of the board, was the top vote-getter with 126,438 votes, while Lawrence garnered 123,631 votes, according to final but unofficial results.
With all 425 precincts reporting, incumbent Republican Joe Gale, of Plymouth, came in a distant third in the tallying with 73,786 votes to retain his role as minority commissioner on the board.
Republican challenger Fred Conner, of Whitpain, was the odd man out, capturing 67,957 votes, according to unofficial results.
A fifth candidate, John Waldenberger, a Libertarian, mounted a last minute, longshot write-in bid for one of the three seats but came up short. According to unofficial results, there were 423 write-in votes cast in the commissioners’ race.
The Democrats have held the majority seats on the three-member board since 2012 when they defeated the GOP leadership for the first time in more than 100 years.
The commissioners manage the county and set policies and set real estate taxes and are elected to four-year terms. They are responsible for the preparation, adoption and execution of the annual budget, have jurisdiction over county maintained roads and bridges and the supervision of the courthouse and other county-operated facilities.
According to election officials, 212,365 of the county’s 562,862 registered voters cast ballots on Tuesday, representing a 37.73 percent turnout.
Voters also elected officials to nine row office posts.
Incumbent District Attorney Kevin R. Steele, a Democrat, who also won a GOP nomination during the May primary and appeared on the Republican ballot as well, captured a combined 195,274 votes, according to final but unofficial results. As he faced no other competition, Steele easily rode to his second term.
According to unofficial results, outcomes in the other county row office contests were:
• Sheriff — Incumbent Democrat Sean P. Kilkenny held off a challenge from Republican Melissa Bowers Palmer. Kilkenny received 126,695 votes while Palmer received 79,172 votes.
• Clerk of Courts — Democrat Lori Schreiber defeated Republican Tracy Moss-Carfagno. Schreiber received 126,743 votes to Moss-Carfagno’s 78,592 votes. Schreiber will replace current Clerk of Courts Ann Thornburg Weiss, a Democrat, of Fort Washington, who did not seek re-election.
• Controller — Incumbent Democrat Karen Geld Sanchez received 126,745 votes to defeat Republican Stan Casacio, who received 78,228 votes.
• Coroner — Incumbent Democrat Michael Milbourne fought off a challenge from Republican Annamarie Scannapieco. Milbourne received 120,269 votes while Scannapieco received 84,532 votes.
• Prothonotary — Democrat Noah Marlier received 122,668 votes to defeat Republican Nancy Quinn-Marsden, who received 81,316 votes. Marlier will replace current Prothonotary Mark Levy, a Democrat, of Plymouth Meeting, who was not seeking re-election.
• Recorder of Deeds — Incumbent Democrat Jeanne Sorg garnered 125,005 votes to defeat Republican Vicki J. Lightcap, who received 80,057 votes.
• Register of Wills — Incumbent Democrat D. Bruce Hanes defeated Republican challenger John Trigg. Hanes received 126,701 votes while Trigg received 77,953 votes.
• Treasurer — Incumbent Democrat Jason E. Salus received 122,589 votes to defeat Republican Tim Mahon, who garnered 81,482 votes.
Row officers are elected to four-year terms.
Seven county judges also faced retention elections and were re-elected to new 10-year terms. They are: Garrett D. Page; Lois Murphy; Wendy Demchick-Alloy; Patricia E. Coonahan; Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio; Gary Silow; and Kelly C. Wall.