In this Nov. 8, 2016, file photo, Lehigh students and community members line up at Litzenberger House polling place in Bethlehem to vote in the 2016 election. If registered in Pennsylvania, Lehigh students can also vote in local elections this Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. (Erik Thomas/B&W Staff)

Meet the candidates of Bethlehem’s local elections


Last year, Americans across the country voted for the next president on Election Day. On Nov. 7, citizens will once again elect candidates to public office.

In Northampton County, residents can vote for a total of 22 candidates in five election categories.


Northampton County executive

The Northampton County executive is responsible for overseeing county operations. Two candidates are running for the position: incumbent Republican John Brown and Democrat Lamont McClure.

Brown, a former mayor of Bangor, Pennsylvania, is running for re-election after holding the office for the past four years. During his term, Brown has made changes to Gracedale, the county-owned nursing home and endorsed the public-private partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to repair or replace 33 bridges over the next four years.

McClure is running for the executive position after stepping down from the Northampton County Council two years ago. McClure is running on a platform of “protect, preserve, prosper.” He wants to continue the operations of Gracedale for seniors and future generations of Northampton County citizens. According to his website, he plans to “have an open administration” and preserve farmland in the county.

Northampton County Council

There are 10 candidates running for five seats on the Northampton County Council.

Republican nominees include incumbents Hayden Phillips, Glenn Geissinger, Peg Ferraro, Seth Vaughn and former councilman Ron Angle.

Democratic nominees include Easton councilman Peter Melan, William McGee, former councilman Ronald R. Heckman, Lori Vago Heffner and Tara M. Zrinski.

Bethlehem City Council

Five candidates are running for four seats on the Bethlehem City Council.

Candidates include Paige Van Wirt and incumbents Eric Evans, Bryan Callahan, Adam R. Waldron and Olga Negron.

Evans, a Democrat, was first elected for office in 2009. He has served as both council president and chairman of the public safety and parks and public property committees over his two previous terms. Evans teaches eighth grade American history at East Hills Middle School. He sees rising pension and healthcare costs and protecting neighborhoods as top priorities of the council.

Callahan, a Democrat, has served since 2014. According to his website he sees neighborhoods, fiscal responsibility, and jobs and economic development as major issues affecting Bethlehem. He is a former educator in the Bethlehem Area School District.

Waldron, a Democrat, is running for a second term on the council. He serves as the vice president of the council and is a member of the community development and public safety committees. He owns Adam Waldron Painting in Bethlehem and coaches youth volleyball.

Negron, a Democrat, has served since 2016. She chairs the public works committee. Negron hopes to improve the sense of community in Bethlehem and work to better home-ownership and city development.

Van Wirt launched a write-in campaign for a seat on Bethlehem City Council. She decided to run after she was frustrated with council decisions and lack of transparency. She is a local physician and hopes to improve city services and walkability, as well as better communication regarding city decision-making.

Northampton County Magisterial District 03-2-11

Nick Englesson, Jon Whittington, Frederick Lahovski and Will Power are running for the local judicial position, recently vacated by Patricia Romig-Passaro. Englesson, Whittington and Power are cross-filed, meaning they are running under two or more parties, a common practice in local judicial elections. Lahovski is filed under the Democratic party.

According to Englesson’s Facebook page, he is running for the position of district judge in Bethlehem after 17 years as a prosecutor.

Whittington, a constable, is married to Romig-Passaro.

Power currently works at PennDOT. He graduated from Moravian College in Bethlehem.

Lahovski is the only candidate for district judge solely running under the Democratic party position. He is a Lehigh County case-worker and former Nazareth police officer.

Bethlehem mayor

Mayor Robert Donchez, a Democrat, is running for re-election unopposed. Donchez, a retired teacher, has been the mayor since 2014.  According to his website, if re-elected, he will focus on public safety, economic development and improving recreational facilities and openness in government.

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1 Comment

  1. Angela Sinkler on

    The candidates running for School Directors in Bethlehem are important to the election. I know Lehigh is involved in many community service projects and community partnerships with our schools. Great schools make great communities, and School Directors are an integral part of making this happen along with the partnerships in the community. I hope the Brown & White will consider reporting on the School Director candidates during their next election cycle. Thank you.

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