Local Politics is an as-needed column on the political scene in Montgomery County filled with speculation, opinion, and more.
Last week, Montgomery County released the unofficial list of candidates for the 2023 election. It is unofficial because the petitions that were submitted can be contested and those who qualified can withdraw from the race they qualified for prior to the election.
The opportunity for actual debate about local issues continues its decline due to the lack of competitive primaries and the inability of local Republicans to run candidates for all of the offices up for election.
That doesn’t bode well for actual public discourse.
Borough of Ambler
In Ward 1, the primaries are uncontested as you have a single candidate from each party running. The candidates are incumbent Amy Hughes (D) and Louis Oreheck (R).
In Ward 2, incumbent Jennifer Henderson is not opposed in the primary and the Republicans do not have a candidate.
in Ward 3, voters will cast votes for two candidates. Democrats have two candidates running for the two available seats, the Republicans do not have any candidates. Running for the Democrats are incumbent Haley Welch and Nancy Roecker-Coates, who was recently appointed to the council to fill the vacant seat left by the resignation of Frank DeRuosi.
The seats have four-year terms.
Lower Gwynedd Township
Running to replace Kathleen Hunsicker (R) on the board are two candidates who are unopposed in their primaries. The candidates are Democrat Jimmy Chong and Republican Chasity Bruno.
Also running in unopposed primaries for the at-large auditor are Ron Amchin (D) and Lynn Smith (R).
Both positions are for six-year terms.
Upper Dublin Township
There are three seats up for election on the Upper Dublin Board of Commissioners. No seats have a contested primary and Ward 1 is the only race that has a Republican running. The current commissioner for Ward 1 is Republican Liz Ferry, who is running for a seat on the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. In this race, Democrat Tracy Burzycki and Republican Ginny Cairo-Vitella are running.
For the other seats, incumbent Democrats Gary Scarpello is running for Ward 4 and Cheryl Knight is running for Ward 5.
The seats are for four-year terms.
There is one seat up for election on the Whitpain Board of Supervisors that is currently held by Democrat Michele Minnick. Neither party has a contested primary, but each has a candidate in the race. On the Democratic Party side, the candidate is Sara Selverian, and for the Republicans, it’s Vince Sobocinski.
The only candidate running for at-large auditor is Democrat Jessica Brunner.
Both positions have six-year terms.
Wissahickon School Board
There are five seats up for election for the Wissahickon School Board and eight candidates have qualified for both the Democratic and Republican parties’ ballots. Two other candidates will appear on only individual party ballots
Qualifying for both ballots are:
- Joe Antonio (incumbent)
- Paul Badger Jr (incumbent)
- Melissa M Coccia
- Zeffy Karagiannakis (incumbent)
- Jill Lafferty
- John McDevitt
- Walter Stankus
- Steve Walker
The following two candidates will only appear on a ballot for a single party:
- Ian Berg (D)
- Brian Gallagher (R)
Upper Dublin School Board
There are five seats up for election for the Upper Dublin School Board and five candidates have qualified for both the Democratic and Republican parties’ ballots. Five other candidates will appear on their individual party ballots.
Qualifying for both ballots are:
- Tricia Ebarvia
- Alima Redding (incumbent)
- Mary Beth Thomas
- Jeffrey Wallack (incumbent)
- Stu Warshawer
Qualifying for only the Republican ballot are:
- Joan Frizzell
- Pat Hennessey
- Anne Hoffman
- Julie Liggett
- Eileen Seeburger