The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners is back to full strength as its newest member, Kenneth Lawrence Jr., was sworn in Wednesday at the Montgomery County Courthouse.
“My sole motivation in serving this position is to make sure Montgomery County continues to be a great place to live and to work. That’s very personal to me because Montgomery County has always been a place of opportunity to me and my family,” Lawrence said.
The ceremony in the courtroom was standing-room-only as family, friends and colleagues crowded in to applaud Lawrence’s appointment. Commissioners’ Chairwoman Val Arkoosh, a fellow Democrat, gave comments along with state Rep. Tim Briggs, D-149, a longtime friend of Lawrence.
“Remember how special today is. When days get much tougher than today, remember all of your friends and family are here to support you,” Briggs said, before closing with, “In case you haven’t noticed, we’re all in great hands.”
Lawrence’s wife, Jennifer, and his two sons Justin and Joshua were by his side as he was administered the oath of office by Common Pleas Court President Judge Thomas M. DelRicci. After being sworn in, Lawrence thanked the large crowd that turned out for the ceremony.
He also expressed his gratitude for the recommendation from Arkoosh and Montgomery County Democratic Committee Chairman Joe Foster.
“I looked for someone who has a reputation for consensus-building and would be guided by the highest ethical and professional standards,” Arkoosh said.
Like his Republican commissioner colleague, Joe Gale, Lawrence is a Plymouth Meeting resident and Temple graduate, and he promised to work across the proverbial aisle to find consensus with Gale.
“I believe as a country we need to come together,” Lawrence said. “And we can start a movement right here in Montgomery County.”
Lawrence comes to the board by way of appointment by the judges of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas. Lawrence will finish out the term of Democrat Josh Shapiro, who was elected Pennsylvania attorney general.
Lawrence was vice president of alumni relations at Temple, and serves on the SEPTA board. His first meeting as commissioner will be Feb. 2. With the addition of Lawrence, Democrats will continue to hold a 2-1 majority on the three-member board.