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An Era of GOP Leadership in Montgomery County Draws to a Close

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(Each surrounded by family members, new Montgomery County commissioners Joshua Shapiro, right, and Leslie Richards take their oaths of office.  Photos by Brad Segall)

(Each surrounded by family members, new Montgomery County commissioners Joshua Shapiro, right, and Leslie Richards take their oaths of office. Photos by Brad Segall)

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By Brad Segall

BLUE BELL, Pa. (CBS) — The message today was one of unity, as the new Montgomery County Board of Commissioners was sworn in this morning — the first time in more than a century that the board been in Democratic hands.

“I, Joshua D. Shapiro, do solemnly swear…”
“I, Leslie S. Richards, do solemnly swear…”

And, with the oath of office administered, the political landscape in Montgomery County changed dramatically.   The Democrats are now in control, and Shapiro — a former member of the Pennsylvania House — says it’s time to change the way business is done, and has been done, there for decades.

“Today we must, and we will, be more efficient with your tax dollars, more effective in governing our county, and more attentive to the needs of our constituents,” Shapiro said.

Richards and Shapiro vowed to work together with Republican commissioner Bruce Castor, who just finished four years on the board basically frozen out by his colleagues, who brokered a power sharing deal.

Castor says it’s time to get the county’s financial house in order and focus on public safety.

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