The FBI is currently investigating current Mayor Ed Pawlowski’s office for corruption – though Pawloski has not been named in any court documents and Pawlowski has denied any wrongdoing. The allegations have contributed to the uptick in candidates challenging the incumbent.
In addition to Pawlowski, Siobhan “Sam” Bennett, David Jones, Ray O’Connell, Joshua Siegel, Charlie Thiel, and Nathan Woodring have all announced their bids for the Democratic nomination.
On the Republican side, Luiz D. Garcia, Nat Hyman, and Christopher Pez are running for the nomination.
The 11 candidates come from all different walks of life.
On the Democratic side:
- Siobhan “Sam” Bennett runs a bed and breakfast, and the former CEO of Women’s Campaign Fund and She Should Run.
- David Jones is the Lehigh County Commissioner for district 3.
- Joshua Siegel is is a college student at Seton Hall University.
- Charlie Thiel is an Allentown School Board member.
- Ray O’Connell is the Allentown City Council President.
- Nathan Woodring is a bus driver in the city and a former Wilson Borough Council member.
- Current Mayor Ed Pawlowski has been mayor since 2006.
On the Republican side:
- Luiz D. Garcia is an Allentown Police officer and U.S. Navy veteran.
- Nat Hyman is a real estate developer in Allentown.
- Christopher Pez is currently self employed and formerly the director of sales and marketing for a New Jersey based media group.
The candidates have until March 7th to file 100 valid signatures within the City to appear on the ballot.
Depending on the results of the primary, the Mayor’s race could be competitive into the Fall campaign season, unlike many local races that are mainly decided in the primary.