In the Spring primary for Bethlehem Mayor, Willie Reynolds defeated Dana Grubb for the Democratic nomination. John Kachmar ran unopposed as the Republican candidate.
In Lehigh County, Willie Reynolds garnered 1,271 votes. Kachmar (664) and Grubb (779) combined beat Willie.
In Northampton County, Willie pulled in 2,692 votes compared to Kachmar (2,349) and Grubb (1,643). Combined, they beat Willie.
If Grubb supporters vote for Kachmar instead of Reynolds, Kachmar wins.
This morning, Dana Grubb will be announcing his support for Kachmar.
This could be a game changer for a Republican in a Democratic City. As Grubb;s vote tally indicates, many Democrats are centrists or are sick and tired of perpetual tax increases accompanied by deteriorating city services.
“Being Mayor of Bethlehem should be about managing a city, not about playing politics, particularly when it comes to development. It’s why I chose to run for Mayor in the Democratic primary election and why I am supportive of John Kachmar’s run for Mayor of Bethlehem,” Grubb said.
“John’s life experiences as a U.S. Marine in Vietnam, Lehigh County administrator, Manpower executive director and in city and county governments elsewhere, lend themselves to the management skills that I’ve felt Bethlehem needed from the start.
“John’s family lived in the same northeast Bethlehem neighborhood that my family did when we were growing up. He graduated from Moravian College in my same class. His late father ran the City’s tax office at the same time I was hired by the city, and his father was a fair and honest man, just as John is.
“I believe it’s time to return Bethlehem’s city government to one of practicality, common sense, integrity and putting the taxpayers first without the favoritism both inside and outside of city hall that have become the norm. It should be about service and fairness, not political opportunism, and that is why I am supporting John Kachmar for Mayor,” Grubb said.
Kachmar is not just a combat veteran of Vietnam, but is a wounded combat veteran. Unlike the flag wavers who prance around in bulletproof vests and pretend assault rifles, Kachmar is an honest-to-goodness patriot. He put his life on the line for his country.
Now this little detail about John may mean little to you. It certainly meant nothing to The Morning Call. That paper omitted it from its profile of Kachmar.. But I can tell you it means something to veterans. It certainly meant something to my Dad.
You see, my Dad was a wounded combat veteran of WWII. He was captured during the Battle of the Bulge and marched off to a POW camp in Dresden. After a beautiful city known as the Vienna of the East was firebombed by the Allies, American POWs were about as popular as bloggers.. That's when a goose-stepping Superman used his rifle to beat the shit out of my father.
My Dad had company. He was captured with another "intelligence scout" by the name of Kurt Vonnegut. This was before he became the famous novelist. They became lifelong friends.
My Dad never discussed the war with me or anyone in my family. When Kachmar was a college student doing a paper about my father and novelist Kurt Vonnegut, my Dad reluctantly met with him. Kachmar began probing him about what it was like, and my Dad snapped at him for asking about something he could never understand.
That's when Kachmar told him that he had seen action himself and had been wounded.
Things changed after that. They became good friends. One night, Kachmar was invited to join my Dad for a few drinks. When he picked him up, Vonnegut was in the car. That trio visited more than a few drinking establishments, from what I've gleaned. .
In addition to being a wounded and decorated combat veteran, Kachmar is a graduate of Notre Dame Green Pond and Moravian College. He was a city manager and county administrator in several municipalities throughout the United States. During that time, he produced 28 budgets with one tax increase, 5 tax decreases and the remainder with no tax increases.
Tonight, at 7 pm, Kachmar and Reynolds will square off in a debate broadcast by PBS39 and WLVR 91.3.
I believe Willie and his incoming City Council are completely out of touch with most Bethlehem residents, from the small businesses along Main Street to the blue collars and Latinos that make up most of the City. Who on earth pushes a tax hike in the middle of a pandemic? Willie Reynolds. I've actually lost count of the number of tax hikes he's supported.
Then he wonders why the city has an affordable housing crisis.
Landlords raise rents when taxes go up
I support John Kachmar in this race, and am looking forward to listening to tonight's debate. Willie will stand for the woke community. Kachmar will stand for common sense.