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Suburban Philly County Commissioner Launches US Senate Bid

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Emma Lee
/
WHYY
Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.

Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, has become the fourth candidate to put their hat into the Democratic primary race for Pennsylvania’s 2022 U.S Senate election.

“Pennsylvania needs another Senator who’ll help move us forward — someone determined to lift up working families and deliver lasting change. That’s why I’m running for U.S. Senate,” the commissioner wrote on Twitter Monday.

The race will be among the most closely watched in the nation. Democrats were given a stronger opportunity to flip the seat after Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey decided against seeking re-election.

Arkoosh, who was a practicing physician before taking public office, has chaired the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners since 2016. She’s led the county’s COVID-19 response over the past year.

Arkoosh said if elected, her top priorities will be to increase well-paying jobs, address climate change, and lower the cost of health care.

The Democratic field includes Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the former mayor of Braddock, State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, from North Philadelphia, and State Sen. Sharif Street, also from North Philadelphia.

Montgomery County’s Jeff Bartos, a businessman and former lieutenant governor candidate, has formally begun his senate campaign for the Republican primary.