Times Chronicle & Public Spirit

Arkoosh to run for U.S. Senate

- By Rachel Ravina rravina@thereporte­ronline.com @rachelravi­na on Twitter

NORRISTOWN >> Montgomery County Commission­ers’ Chairwoman Val Arkoosh announced her intention Monday to run for the U.S. Senate.

The county’s top Democrat shared her plans for higher political office in a video Monday morning sent with a press release.

“Pennsylvan­ians deserve to have a voice,” Arkoosh said. “One that will cut through all the noise and get things done. I’m determined to be that voice for you. That’s why I’m running for United

States Senate.”

Vying for the seat to be vacated by retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, Arkoosh establishe­d her priorities to reform the state’s infrastruc­ture, environmen­t and health care, according to her campaign.

Toomey announced in October 2020 that he was not planning to seek re-election next year. His term expires at the end of 2022.

“We’re at a critical moment,” Arkoosh said in a statement. “I’m fiercely determined to do what’s right — to stand up to Trump Republican­s and push back on their harmful agenda.

“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,” she went on to say.

The 60-year-old Springfiel­d Township resident and mother of three began her move to politics in 2015 when she was chosen to fill a vacancy, formerly held by Leslie Richards on the Montgomery County Board of Commission­ers.

Arkoosh was then elected that same year to serve a four-year term, according to a profile on the Montgomery County website. She was reelected in 2019 and has held her position since.

The board of commission­ers govern the state’s thirdmost populous county with more than 830,000 residents and a nearly $462 million budget for 2021.

The Northweste­rn University graduate earned an undergradu­ate degree in economics. She then obtained additional degrees from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Arkoosh conducted her residency program in anesthesio­logy “with a special focus on obstetrics” at Jefferson Medical College, according to her profile on the Montgomery County website.

Arkoosh spent more than two decades in the medical field.

“In my 23 years in operating and emergency rooms, I’ve seen my fair share of tragedy,” she said. “The trauma of gunshot victims, denials by insurance companies and huge disparitie­s in health care based on race, gender and income.”

Arkoosh has also held leadership roles in the medical and nonprofit sectors, according to her profile on Montgomery County’s website.

“As a doctor, I’ve always known that anything is possible if you never give up,” she said.

Arkoosh is not the only candidate in Montgomery County planning to seek higher office. Her colleague, Republican Montgomery County Commission­er Joe Gale announced his plans in February to run for Pennsylvan­ia governor in 2022, with his brother, Sean, also a Republican, vying for the U.S. Senate seat.

Montgomery County businessma­n Jeff Bartos has also announced he will seek the Republican nomination for Toomey’s seat.

More than a dozen others are also eyeing that spot, according to Ballotpedi­a.

Democratic contenders include Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, D-181 Dist., whose district covers parts of Philadelph­ia.

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Val Arkoosh

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