|Bob Donchez makes it official|
Son of an admired police detective, Donchez grew up on the South Side and became best friends with someone a block away who, like him, always had an interest in local sports and ... politics. That best friend, District Attorney John Morganelli, introduced Donchez at his Saturday morning announcement.
"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury," Morganelli joked, when addressing Donchez' supporters. "I'm so excited I feel like I'm running myself."
Another supporter, State Senator Lisa Boscola, told the crowd that she, Morganelli and Donchez were mentored and called the "three amigos" by former Mayor Paul Marcincin. She complimented Donchez' "gentleman approach" to issues. "Our City is going to thrive and be great under your leadership," she told Donchez.
Donchez, a retired American Government and Social Studies teacher, has been a member of City Council since 1996, including two 4-year stints as Council President. He credits his father for "setting an example of service I will always carry with me."
Calling Bethlehem a "special place," Donchez pledged to form a task force of knowledgeable community leaders to ensure transparency, especially with the City Budget. He promised to continue to be a strong advocate for public safety. He also wants to foster an atmosphere that encourages more mom-and-pop business development.
|Donchez supporters Loretta and Jay Leeson|
City Council members Jean Belinski, Dave DiGiacinto, Eric Evans and Mike Recchiutti were all on hand for the announcement. So was Mayor John Callahan, who is expected to announce his own candidacy for Northampton County Executive this week. Although neutral in the Mayor's race, Callahan was unable to resist the charms of the Hotel Bethlehem and its very political crowd.
Two other potential Northampton County Executives, Glenn Reibman and Lamont McClure, were also there, along with a myriad of current and former elected officials, as well as police officers and Sheriff Randy Miller.
When former Northampton County Council member Ron Heckman spotted fellow old-timer Greg Zebrowski in the crowd, he joked that the next thing they'll do is "drag in the coffin of [former NorCo Executive] Gene Hartzell."
Bethlehem's Mayoral primary will be on May 21.