Lehigh Valley

Election Day: Competitive race for Allentown mayor

VIDEO: Allentown mayor race coming...

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The countdown is on. There's just one week to go until Election Day and it's a crowded field in the race for Allentown mayor.

There are five candidates. Two are the clear standouts but a third could play the role of spoiler. Include all this with the cloud of the FBI investigation of City Hall.

"What happened this year are some unique circumstances. A mayor under federal indictment and being on the ballot as a democratic nominee," said political pundit Chris Borick.

Borick says the FBI investigation into City Hall and the indictment of current Mayor and Democratic candidate Ed Pawlowski has opened the door for Nat Hyman to be the first Republican to take Allentown's top spot since the 1997 election.

"From what we've seen this is a competitive race and it's very close," Borick said.

However, Republicans have a voter mountain to climb. Registered Democrats outnumber them 4-1 in the city.

"How did you win, what was the key?" 69 News asked Bill Heydt.

"12,358 doors," he responded.

That's how many doors the Republican says he knocked on when he won back in 1993.

He's the last Republican mayor in the city. Heydt said his personal touch is what broke through party lines.

"Followed up with post cards, sent 2-300 every other day," he explained.

The wild card this year is write-in candidate City Council President Ray O'Connell. The Democrat lost in the primary but was close to Pawlowski. Borick says he could play election-day spoiler.

"Where he will take the votes from the other candidates is the question on everyone's mind," Borick said.

Solomon Tembo and John Ingram are also on the ballot running as independents. 

Voter turnout is key. The west end will be watched but so too will the east and south side. These are two places where Incumbent Ed Pawlowski made a big push.

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