"Personally, I've had several Republican elected officials approach me to discreetly share with me their support of Tom Muller," said Daugherty.

“Tom Muller is the Lehigh County Democrats choice for county executive."

Daugherty noted Croslis was appointed county executive "only a few months ago" because he is a Democrat. "To see Matt Croslis publicly support Mr. Ott, whose position and views could not be further from ours as Democrats, is disappointing.”

In a statement, Croslis said Ott "will work tirelessly to find new and innovative ways to provide the necessary services of county government in the most cost effective manner. It is my hope that my endorsement will promote bipartisanship and continue to put the interests of the county residents before politics."

The surprising endorsement from Croslis won praise from Wayne Woodman, chairman of the Lehigh County Republican committee.

"We couldn't be prouder of Mr. Croslis’s endorsement for an election in which Mr. Ott’s opponent has used every available opportunity to make personal attacks, twist issues from facts to fictions and to use fear politics as his core strategy," said Woodman in a statement.

"We are thrilled to see a long-standing member of the Democrat Party recognize the importance of reforming our county government, which is suffering from long-term structural deficits where spending has outpaced revenues for many years. For the past eight years, Mr. Ott’s opponent has been completely responsible for this performance."