A Montgomery County Democrat has joined the 2022 race for U.S. Senate.
Montgomery County Commissioners’ Chairwoman Val Arkoosh announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate race on Monday morning.
“We’re at a critical moment. I’m fiercely determined to do what’s right — to stand up to Trump Republicans and push back on their harmful agenda,” Arkoosh said in a press release. “Instead, we’ll build a future that lifts people up, rebuild our infrastructure with good paying union jobs, protect our planet by addressing the climate crisis, and finish the job we started to lower the cost of health care.”
“That’s why I’m running for United States Senate,” Arkoosh continued. “Pennsylvanians deserve to have a voice — one that will cut through all the noise and get things done. I’m determined to be that voice for you.”
Arkoosh also released a 2:16 announcement video on Monday morning that promotes her record as an elected official, plus her background as a physician.
Prior to serving in elected office, Arkoosh was the President of the National Physicians Alliance and helped fight for the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Arkoosh is currently serving her second full term as Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. In Jan. 2015, Arkoosh was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board, and later went on to win a full four-year term in Nov 2015 and was reelected in Nov 2019.
In 2016, Arkoosh was elected to serve as Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, becoming the first woman to assume the role in Pennsylvania’s third largest county.
A release from Arkoosh’s campaign specifically touted her work “rebuilding critical infrastructure and preserving over 10,000 acres of farmland,” to instituting a $15 minimum wage and parental leave for county employees, restoring the County’s AAA bond rating, maintaining “some of the lowest taxes in the region,” and leading the County’s COVID-19 response.
While Arkoosh is serving her second term as a County Commissioner, her first bid for elected office was for Pennsylvania’s then-13th Congressional District in 2014. Brendan Boyle secured the Democratic Party nomination and went on to win the seat that was vacated by Rep. Allyson Schwartz. Arkoosh finished in third place in that Democratic Primary behind Boyle and former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies.
Arkoosh is the fourth Democrat to formally announce a bid for the open seat. She joins Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia), and former Norristown Borough Council President John McGuigan.
However the Democratic field is expected to grow in the coming weeks and months.
State Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) announced last week that he has filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission for U.S. Senate and will be launching an exploratory committee on April 9. According to Politico, others potential Democratic candidates include Reps. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester) and Conor Lamb (D-Allegheny), Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, and Philadelphia City Councilmember Helen Gym.
The GOP field is expected to be packed as well.
Jeff Bartos, a Montgomery County real estate developer and former Lt. Governor candidate, Sean Gale, an attorney, and Everett Stern, a businessman and HSBC whistleblower, have formally announced their entrance into the race to succeed outgoing GOP Sen. Pat Toomey.
Other Republicans that are reportedly interested in seeking the GOP nomination according to Politico include, Reps. Mike Kelly (R-Butler) and Guy Reschenthaler (R-Allegheny), former Congressman Ryan Costello (R-Chester), former Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite, former gubernatorial candidate Paul Mango, former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain, former U.S. Ambassador Carla Sands, business consultant Craig Snyder, and former congressional candidate Sean Parnell.