Montco Gets a New Commissioner
Following the swearing in of Josh Shapiro as Pennsylvania Attorney General, Montgomery County’s Court of Common Pleas unanimously elected Ken Lawrence to the Board of Commissioners.
Lawrence will finish out Shapiro’s term that ends in 2019. He is currently Temple University’s Vice President for Alumni Affairs. He has served Montgomery County before as a county representative to SEPTA in 2011 and was reappointed unanimously in 2016. He also served on the Shapiro-Richards transition in 2012 on the Transportation and Infrastructure sub-committee. He is the first African-American Commissioner in the history of Montgomery County.
“Ken has deep ties and a long history of service to the Montgomery County community. I am certain his unique blend of public and private sector experience, his collaborative approach to problem solving, and his personal commitment to the highest ethical standards will make him an outstanding governing partner with Commissioner Gale and myself,” Board Chair Valerie Arkoosh said of Lawrence’s appointment.
“Ken Lawrence and I are both graduates of Temple University and residents of Plymouth Township; so we have that in common. However, we do not share the same political ideology,” Republican Commissioner Joe Gale told the Norristown Times Herald.
Shapiro and Leslie Richards ushered in the first ever Democratic majority in the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners when he was elected in 2011, part of the years-long trend of Philadelphia’s suburbs growing more blue.
Montgomery is Pennsylvania’s third-largest county and its high profile has made the Commission a stepping stone – or destination – for several noteworthy elected officials. For example:
- Richards was appointed Secretary of PennDOT in 2015.
- Castor ran for Pennsylvania Attorney General in 2004.
- Jon Fox served as Commissioner before his successful run for Congress in 1994.
- Joe Hoeffel served as a Commissioner after his tenure in Congress and 2004 run for U.S. Senate.
- Jim Matthews was a candidate for Lieutenant Governor during his second term as Commissioner in 2006.