Saturday, February 28, 2015

POSTED: Friday, January 30, 2015, 1:36 PM

At the Montgomery County Democratic Committee's executive meeting Thursday night, party leaders cited "an embarrassment of riches" in candidates stepping forward to run.

"Eight years ago, 10 years ago," Chairman Marcel Groen said. "Everyone who came before us would've been on the ticket."  This year, he said, they had to make hard choices.  

Here's a primer on those endorsed endorsed by the executive committee Thursday night.  (And check back in mid-February for a primer on the GOP slate).

Open seats

  • Controller -- Karen Geld Sanchez, an attorney who specializes in corporate finance.  Her husband is a commissioner in Abington Township.  The controller's seat is open this year, as Republican Stewart Greenleaf Jr. is not running for re-election.
  • District Attorney -- Kevin R. Steele, a career prosecutor and the current No. 2 in the department. The race between Steele and Republican Bruce Castor, who previously held the job and is vacating his seat as a county commissioner, is expected to be one of the closest races in the county this year.  The current D.A., Risa Vetri Ferman, is leaving to run for judge.
  • Common Pleas Judge -- Daniel J. Clifford, a family lawyer; Wendy G. Rothstein, a litigator; Todd Eisenberg, a municipal lawyer; and Natasha Taylor-Smith, an assistant county solicitor.  See my article today for more about these candidates: Montco Dems' endorsements raise some eyebrows.

Challengers

  • Recorder of Deeds -- Jeanne Sorg, mayor of Ambler.  She will challenge Republican incumbent Nancy Becker, who is suing mortgage companies on behalf of all registers in the state.
  • Sheriff -- Sean Kilkenny, solicitor for Norristown and several other Montco municipalities.  Kilkenny is a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve's JAG Corps and a trustee of Montgomery County Community College.  He will challenge Russell J. Bono, the former Norristown Police Chief appointed to the seat last year.

Incumbents

  • County Commissioner -- Josh Shapiro and Val Arkoosh.  Although she'd only been in office for about 15 hours, appointed to fill out Leslie Richards' term, Arkoosh was the toast of the party, receiving a standing ovation and overshadowing any mention of the day's bigger news story (the resignation of state Treasurer Rob McCord, of Bryn Mawr).
  • Register of Wills -- D. Bruce Hanes, running for a second term.  Hanes won national attention and liberal praise for his willingness to go out on a limb and issue same-sex marriage licenses in violation of state law. His mustache also earned national accolades.
  • Coroner -- Walter I. Hofman, running for a third term. He was the first forensic pathologist in Pennsylvania to be elected coroner.  Hofman, 79, apparently has had some health issues and is recuperating in Florida.
  • Treasurer -- Jason Salus, running for a second term.  He has helped the commissioners get a handle on the budget and found savings in his own department by upgrading technology and processes.
  • Prothonotary -- Mark Levy, running for a third term.
  • Clerk of Courts -- Ann Thornberg Weiss, running for a third term.  
Jessica Parks @ 1:36 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog

Montco Memo, a blog written by Inquirer staffers Carolyn Davis and Jessica Parks, covers police and courts, issues and community news in Montgomery County.

Reach Jessica Parks at cdavis@phillynews.com.

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