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November 10, 2023

Neil Makhija's election Montgomery County Commissioners marks a pair of historic firsts

The Lower Merion resident is the board's first Indian American member, and at 37 years old he's its youngest ever, too

Politics Elections
Monto Commissioner Neil Makhija Courthouse Montgomery County Planning Commission/Flickr

Neil Makhija is the youngest person ever elected to the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, as well as the first Indian American to hold the seat. Above, the Montgomery County Courthouse.

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 resident of the Penn Valley section of Lower Merion, 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.

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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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