NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – The Democratic Party has dropped a political bombshell that could reshape the future of politics in Montgomery County.

Montgomery County commissioner Joe Hoeffel has announced his decision not to seek re-election this year.

His decision leaves the door open for Pennsylvania state representative Josh Shapiro, who announced his plans to run alongside Whitemarsh Township supervisor Leslie Richards.

Shapiro says he is giving up opportunities at the state level to tackle county challenges that include creating more jobs, expanding economic opportunities, and streamlining government.

“This campaign will be marked by a discussion of real issues, and it will be less about partisanship and less about sniping and griping, which has sort of defined county politics for the last number of years,” he told KYW Newsradio today.

In announcing his decision to leave, Hoeffel took some swipes at the party chairman, saying he believes the Democratic Party is demoralized and not unified because of internal disagreements and recent public comments made by the chairman.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060.