Lehigh Valley

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski re-elected amid crowded field

Pawlowski elected to a fourth term.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - In a closely-watched election in Allentown, incumbent Mayor Ed Pawlowski pulled through with another win, clinching his fourth term as the city's leader despite perhaps his biggest campaign obstacle ever: a federal indictment and an upcoming trial.

Pawlowski, who's already served 12 years, faces 54 political corruption related charges surrounding allegations of pay-to-play stemming from a several-year FBI probe. His crowded field of opponents hoped to capitalize on that vulnerability Tuesday night.  Pawlowski defeated Republican businessman Nat Hyman, write in democrat and city council president Ray O'Connell, and independents John Ingram and Solomon Tembo.  

"I wish him nothing but success in the sake of the city of Allentown and for his family going forward through with the tribulations he’s going to have to face January 20," Hyman said following his defeat. 

In an interview with 69 News after his victory speech, Pawlowski thanked voters who supported him through "the noise."

"I am just really thankful for the citizens of Allentown for seeing the successes that we had," Pawlowski said.

Pawlowski said he looks forward to his third victory at trial.. If convicted, Pawlowski could be forced to step down from the position leaving the post up for grabs in a special election.  When asked about that possibility, Pawlowski re-affirmed his innocence and expressed confidence in a full exoneration. 

"I'm not even going to speculate on that, because I know that I am innocent, and I know I will be exonerated, when people see that evidence, weigh that evidence they will see that there is nothing there and that this case is really shallow at best, " Pawlowski said. 

In addition, Pawlowski said he looks forward to rehabilitating a somewhat strained relationship with a city council that publicly asked him to resign in midst of the allegations and cast a vote of no confidence

More than 11,000 Allentown residents voted in the election Tuesday evening, surpassing the vote total in the 2013 mayoral election.

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