HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — Pennsylvania has never had a woman elected as U.S. senator, although several have tried.
On Monday Montgomery County Commissioner Valerie Arkoosh announced her candidacy for Senate.READ MORE: Jeff Bartos Declares Candidacy For US Senate In Pennsylvania
The election is next year, but already Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has announced for Senate, and more recently Philadelphia Pennsylvania Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta tossed his hat in. Now a third candidate has joined the race.
Dr. Val Arkoosh is a physician and chair of the commissioners of Montgomery County, the state’s third-largest county just outside Philadelphia.
“I’ve been a problem solver my whole career,” Arkoosh told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Monday.
“As a doctor, my job was to diagnose the problem and work with the patient to fix it. But over time it became clear to me that many of these things outside of the exam room were impacting the health of my patients.”
WATCH: Jon Delano Reports
Arkoosh, a Democrat, led a national physicians group to lobby for passage of the Affordable Care Act and then ran unsuccessfully for Congress before winning county commissioner five years ago.
“We now have a $15 minimum wage in place for all county employees and a paid parental leave policy,” said Arkoosh, ticking off some accomplishments.READ MORE: Young Philadelphia State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta Takes On Fetterman For US Senate
“We’ve also started buying all of our electricity needs through wind credits, so it’s electricity that comes from wind generation.”
“When I became a commissioner, our bond rating had been downgraded several times. We’ve restored that Triple-A bond rating, and we still have some of the lowest taxes in our region,” Arkoosh added.
Arkoosh wants to move away from fossil fuels but says you just can’t wipe out local jobs.
“We have to make sure we have something in place before anything else down the road goes away, and I really like President Biden’s approach.”
Arkoosh knows that no woman has ever won the U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania.
Delano: “Do you think it matters what your gender is?”
Arkoosh: “Well, I do think there are a couple different ways that history could be made in this race. But I think the most important thing is what voters care about.”
More candidates are expected to announce soon.MORE NEWS: Pa. Lt. Governor John Fetterman Officially Launches Campaign For U.S. Senate
The U.S. Senate primary race is in May of 2022.