Even though I'm a bottom-feeding blogger whose idea of a good time is looking through Willie Reynolds' garbage cans, Laura met me last week at Panera Bread.
"You do know I'm a stalker, don't you?" I asked her.
She just laughed at me.
A little nervously.
Laura is a Bethlehem-area product. Freedom High School. Villanova. Taught English in Argentina and Uganda. But during last year's presidential race, she was a field organizer in the Bethlehem area for the Obama campaign.
Laura met Willie Reynolds during that campaign, and he spent a lot of his time volunteering, going door to door. She said Willie would show up, even when the office was empty.
With the campaign over, Laura was preparing for another trip overseas when the phone rang. Willie asked her to work his Mayoral race, and she agreed.
"I found her to be a tireless campaigner who understands the important issues facing Bethlehem," explained Willie. "In 2012, President Obama won 66 percent of the vote in Bethlehem and Laura’s work in our neighborhoods was a big part of that.”
Ironically, Laura used that same language to describe Willie. She stayed because he is committed and willing to work.
"He's everywhere," she told me.
I know. Maybe he should start a blog, too.
I told Laura that Willie's opponent, Bob Donchez, is admired and respected in Bethlehem. I think even the Pope is preparing to endorse him. She agreed. She thinks Willie works hard and has good ideas and is the best person to move Bethlehem forward. She told me the campaign will be based on his ideas, not slurs.
She's an idealist. You can even see it in her eyes. It's very refreshing for a bottom-feeder like me.
Obviously, Willie's commitment to Obama is what inspired her. I had to ask. Were there any other Bethlehem politicians out there, knocking on doors for Obama?
Two. One of them is State Rep. Steve Samuelson, who would stop by if he had time to kill. Another is Mayor John Callahan, who would come to an empty office and work the phones, sometimes bringing his daughter with him.