The Lead

Newly elected Mont. Co. Commissioner Makhija celebrates series of firsts for role

By: - November 8, 2023 5:40 pm

Montgomery County Courthouse (Flickr image:

Montgomery County voters elected new commissioners on Tuesday, including the youngest and first Indian American to hold the seat known for launching its occupants into higher public offices. 

Newly elected Montgomery County Commissioner Neil Makhija.

Neil Makhija, a Penn Valley resident, was elected Montgomery County Commissioner on Tuesday, raking in more than 143,000 votes, according to unofficial tallies. Makhija now assumes a role previously held by Gov. Josh Shapiro and Secretary of Human Services Val Arkoosh.

Makhija and fellow Democrat Jamila Winder both earned seats on the three-member board of commissioners, as well as Republican challenger Thomas DiBello.

At 37, Makhija is the youngest person elected to the seat, which oversees 3,000 employees including elections, courts, a district attorney’s office, public health departments, and public infrastructure.

Makhija recorded another first on Tuesday night, becoming the first Indian American to serve on the county’s board of commissioners. 

“At a time when our fundamental rights and democracy itself are on the line, voters of Montgomery County chose a candidate who will fight to protect democratic principles and values,” Makhija said.

In a statement issued Tuesday night, Makhija thanked voters for their support, outlining his goals for the role. 

“I am incredibly grateful and humbled by the voters’ faith in our vision for a proactive approach to protecting our voting rights, keeping guns off our streets, and working to ensure that Montgomery County remains a great place to live and raise a family for all,” Makhija said. 

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry.