Endorsed County-Wide Candidates 2019
More indormation is avaliable on the county website (below) and on the websites of individual candidates.
County Commissioners — Dr. Val Arkoosh & Ken Lawrence, Jr.
Dr. Val Arkoosh and Ken Lawrence, Jr. are the Chair and Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. Val has served as a commissioner since 2015 and Ken has served since 2017. As your commissioners they have passed a parental leave policy for eligible county employees, are instituting a new voter system with voter-marked paper ballots, prioritized open space and farmland preservation, reduced homelessness in the county by 47% since 2014, and are making critical investments in county infrastructure that benefit the entire region – including roads, bridges and trails. And, they’ve done all that while restoring the County’s fiscal health, earning the highest bond rating from Moody’s Investor Services last year. Val and Ken are running as a team in 2019 to continue to deliver for the people of Montgomery County.
Register of Wills – D. Bruce Hanes
D. Bruce Hanes has served as Montgomery County’s Register of Wills and the Clerk of Orphans’ Court since 2008. Hanes made headlines in 2013 when he successfully challenged Pennsylvania’s unconstitutional law restricting marriage to a man and a woman. A federal judge in Pennsylvania and the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with Hanes’ position and declared same-sex marriage a constitutional right.
He also implemented the electronic processing of probates, Orphans’ Court filings, and marriage licenses in Montgomery County.
He is a U.S. Army veteran and former Assistant Attorney General in the Pennsylvania Department of Justice. Prior to his service as Register of Wills and Clerk of Orphans’ Court, Hanes was an attorney in private practice for 35 years specializing in civil litigation, wills, and estates. He has lived for almost 36 years in the Elkins Park neighborhood of Cheltenham Township with his wife Rosemary. They have two adult daughters and two grandsons.
Controller – Karen Geld Sanchez, Esq.
Controller Karen Geld Sanchez is an experienced business attorney with a master’s degree in business administration, a fierce advocate for Democratic values, and the mother of three young children. She is well trained to identify and scrutinize complicated financial issues and works hard to find practical solutions in accordance with the law. As the watchdog of the County, Controller Sanchez has a proven record of leadership, productivity, transparency and fiscal responsibility.
Recorder of Deeds – Jeanne Sorg
Jeanne Sorg was first elected Mayor of Ambler Borough in 2013 and Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds in 2015. She serves on the board of Ambler Main Street, the Montgomery Bar Association Realtor Liaison Committee and the Legislative Committee of the PA Recorder of Deeds Association. Sorg holds a dual Bachelor’s degree in English and Mathematics from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. She is the daughter of the first permanent female miner on the “Iron Range,” who was also the first female mayor of the small taconite mining town of Babbitt in Northern Minnesota. She and her husband, Rick Taylor, are the proud parents of Amelija, who recently earned a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from Temple University and works on mass transit issues, and Fred, a Montgomery County Community College student studying computer sciences.
Court of Common Pleas — Melissa Schwartz Sterling, Esq.
Melissa Schwartz Sterling is a Lawyer at Naulty, Scaricamazza & McDevitt. She serves on the Whitemarsh Township Board of Supervisors where she is currently Chair. Melissa volunteers at Laurel House (a domestic violence shelter, and the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project’s (MCAP), whose mission is to end and prevent child abuse and neglect in Montgomery County through legal services, advocacy, and education. Melissa and her husband reside in Whitemarsh Township and have one daughter, Rachel.
Court of Common Pleas — Virgil B Walker, Esq.
Virgil B. Walker has devoted his entire career to public service on behalf of his community. He has served as an Assistant United States Attorney, Chief Assistant City Solicitor, and a Public Defender. Virgil and his wife Courtney have one child presently in, and two who have graduated from Montgomery County Schools.
District Attorney—Kevin Steele, Esq.
Kevin Steele has been a prosecutor for over 20 years and has served as Montgomery County District Attorney for the past three years. He has spent time across the county, listening to, speaking to and working with residents, crime victims, business leaders, law enforcement officials, students, survivors of domestic violence, family members who have lost loved ones to addiction as well as many others. Steele’s priorities are working to end the opioid-heroin-fentanyl epidemic, advocating for victims and their rights, using innovative crime fighting strategies to prevent and deter criminals and using diversionary programs. Steele serves as Legislative Chair for the PA District Attorneys Association and was recently awarded the Louis D. Stefan Law Enforcement Award by the Montgomery Bar Association.
Prothonotary – Noah Marlier, Esq.
Noah Marlier grew up right here in Montgomery County, attending Jenkintown public schools. After teaching United States history in a public school in Virginia, Noah joined the Peace Corps in Malawi, Africa, where he served as a teacher and teacher trainer for over two years. After returning from Malawi and graduating from Rutgers Law School, Noah became an Assistant District Attorney right here in Montgomery County. He currently works at a firm that represents local governments throughout the County, and he resides in Springfield with his wife Lindsay and their two little boys.
Clerk of Courts - Lori Schreiber
Lori Schreiber was first elected as a Township Commissioner in 2005 after beating the 24-year Republican incumbent, and is now the Director of the Public Safety Committee. Lori has over 25 years of experience in both Social Service and College settings and a Master’s degree from Lehigh University in Social Relations. In 2014, she was selected to co-chair the county’s Opioid Taskforce, and has worked with both victims of crime and people in mental health and substance abuse recovery. Lori and her spouse, Linda, have lived in Abington Township since 1998.
Sheriff – Sean P. Kilkenny, Esq
Sheriff Sean P. Kilkenny first elected in 2015, works tirelessly to keep Montgomery County safe. Sean’s Office successfully provided security for the trials of Bill Cosby and of former Attorney General Kathleen Kane. Sheriff Kilkenny’s office is the most progressive in the Commonwealth; implementing the use of body cameras in the patrol division, focusing like a laser on domestic violence issues, and dramatically increasing diversity hiring. Sean a retired Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel is a graduate of the Pa Sheriff’s Academy, Villanova University, Temple Law School, and the Army War College; he resides in Jenkintown with his wife Betsy and his two daughters Madeline and Gabrielle.
Treasurer – Jason Salus
Treasurer Jason Salus has played an integral role in Montgomery County’s fiscal turnaround. In the past year, the county’s bond rating was restored to AAA and the general fund balance has been replenished. His innovative delinquent tax collection program helps school districts recover millions of dollars more quickly and at a lower cost. Jason and his wife, Lisa, a public school teacher, have two children, Max (8) and Eva (6).
Coroner — Michael Milbourne, MD
Coroner Michael W. Milbourne, M.D., a medical graduate of Temple University School of Medicine did his medical internship at Pennsylvania Hospital, residency at Mercy Catholic Medical Center and cardiology fellowship at Medical College of Pennsylvania. He has held academic positions including Clinical Instructor in Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Director of Non-invasive Imaging, Jefferson-Methodist Heart Center South and Associate Professor of Medicine at Drexel University. Dr. Milbourne has been a licensed, practicing cardiologist for more than 20 years in Philadelphia and surrounding counties. He specializes in the field of non-invasive cardiology and risk stratification for cardiovascular disease.
Court of Common Pleas — Henry Hilles, III, Esq.
Henry Hilles, an attorney for over 24 years, has been a solo practitioner in Norristown for the past 15 years handling criminal defense, civil, real estate, family law and Orphans’ Court matters. Henry has previously served as a Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney in the Major Crimes Unit and as a part-time Assistant Montgomery County Solicitor handling involuntary commitment hearings. Since 2005, Henry has been Chair of the Montgomery County Drug and Alcohol Planning Council. Henry has extensive jury trial and appellate experience in Montgomery County and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (federal court). Henry lives in Worcester Township with his wife of 24 years (Jill); they have a son (20) who is a junior in college and a daughter (17) who is a senior in high school.
Superior Court — Judge Daniel McCaffery
After graduating from Father Judge High School, Dan served on active duty in the United States Army, First Cavalry Division from 1983 through 1986 and the United States Army Reserve, 304th Civil Affairs Unit from 1986 to 1988. After leaving the Army, Dan graduated from Temple University (B.A. SCAT, 1988) and Temple Law School (J.D., 1991).
Judge McCaffery began working for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office in 1991. He was a prosecutor assigned to the Major Crime Unit. During his time in the District Attorney’s office, he prosecuted an excess of 50 jury trials and over 1000 bench trials. He left the District Attorney’s office in 1997 and joined Friedman, Schuman, P.C. where he was Chairman of the commercial litigation department. Judge McCaffery ran for the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in 2013. Winning the seat on the bench as the second highest vote-getter in the general election. Currently serving as a Trial Judge assigned to one of the busiest trial divisions in Pennsylvania, Judge McCaffery has presided over thousands of trials.
Judge McCaffery currently resides in Philadelphia County and has 2 Daughters, Madison – A Philadelphia Public School teacher and Mairead – a Junior at Temple University.
Superior Court — Amanda Green-Hawkins
The best way to understand Amanda’s passion, grit and determination would be to reflect on her early years. A product of the public school system, Amanda went to college earning her undergraduate BA degree from Duke University. She continued on her path of higher education working three jobs to pay her way through school while attending and graduating from Northeastern University School of Law.
Along the way Amanda developed a strong interest in protecting working families, the underprivileged and civil rights.
It’s easy to find the roots of Amanda’s commitment to working families. Growing up in a Union household, Amanda’s mother was a factory worker who lost her benefits when the company she worked for shut down and moved overseas. Her father was a veteran of the Korean War, a truck driver, and a proud member of the Carpenters Union, ensuring him fair wages and benefits to support his family.
Amanda’s first civil rights victory came while clerking for the IUE. Workers in California – nearly all immigrant women – were attempting to organize their factory to combat unsafe working conditions. The factory owner threatened to fire the workers and move the factory out of the country. It was a difficult case with limited modern precedent, but Amanda crafted the legal argument that saved the workers’ jobs and ensured fair treatment. Clean air and water, a fair wage, and safe working conditions improved the lives of these workers.
After clerking for the “toughest” Superior Court judge in New Jersey, Amanda began her professional career as an attorney, faced with a choice: join a high-powered firm with a guaranteed, large annual income; or fight to defend working families. Considering the first case she was offered to work on involved breaking up a union, the choice was easy – Amanda chose to fight for working families and citizens whose voices were often marginalized.
At the United Steelworkers, Amanda has fought for working families, the underprivileged and civil rights for years. In one case, Amanda battled a company refusing to pay pensions to nearly 900 employees. She wrote the brief and delivered the oral arguments that gave the employees a fair chance to arbitrate. Hard working citizens need their pensions.
As for Public Service, Amanda ran and won twice to be an elected member of the Allegheny County Council. She has also served on many community boards including Women for the Future of Pittsburgh, Women’s Law Project, Democratic National Committee (DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee) and the Port Authority Transportation Board of Allegheny County.
Amanda worked on the Election Protection team during the 2008 and 2012 Presidential Election cycles, was a member of the Electoral College in 2012 and has taken on many pro-bono cases in her legal career. In one pro-bono case a daycare owner in Pittsburgh had lost her license to operate. The woman’s appeals were ignored by state agencies, and the daycare was threatened with closing, compelling the parents to find new, last minute childcare. Amanda defended the center and took the appeal to a higher court; the business was license restored.
Amanda is running for Superior Court because she knows the importance of checks and balances, and judicial integrity. Amanda has the compassion and the experience to join the court ensuring a valuable work ethic and understanding of judicial process. “There should never be an attitude of ‘less important’ cases, each case deserves a complete meritorious review.” Amanda is a precision driven attorney who works on behalf of working families. She will always bring a well formulated, reasoned arguments to the court, it is what she does everyday.
Active members of their community, Amanda and her husband Rommie live and work in the City of Pittsburgh with their two children Caden, a Pittsburgh Public School student and Cassia, age 3.