BETHLEHEM, Pa. - On Tuesday Bethlehem voters will take their first step in electing a new leader, as Mayor Bob Donchez has reached his term limit.
Three candidates are running in the primary: two Democrats and one Republican.
Former Lehigh County Administrator John Kachmar has spent nearly three decades working in city management. He's running unopposed on the Republican ticket.
"At my age, I'm not trying to be a career politician. I just want to fix the city," Kachmar said.
His priority is reviewing and solving fiscal issues.
“I have some problems with what's been going on here, tax increases three out of last four years, stormwater fee implemented in the middle of a pandemic,” Kachmar said.
Former Bethlehem Deputy Director of Community Development Dana Grubb and current Councilman William Reynolds want to be the Democrats' nominee.
"I think the inside politics of Bethlehem needs some influence from the outside. I also felt my experience, with 27 years in city government, 17 years as a small-business owner...I think bringing that type of experience to the mayor's office would make city hall a very different city hall,” Grubb said.
“One of the things that is really key, how big a coalition can you get behind, creating change in your community, and during my time in city council, I've done that,” Reynolds said.
Grubb said his priorities include improving policing, gentrification and affordable housing, and development.
"We need development to grow the tax base, but we need development that fits. We don't need 10-, 12-story buildings,” Grubb said.
Reynolds said he'll be focused on recovering from the pandemic, economic development and neighborhood investment.
"We need to continue our economic revitalization, investments in parks, ability to improve our streets," Reynolds said.
The general election is in November.