Montgomery County Courthouse (Flickr image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/75012107@N05/7221298632/).
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.
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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