EASTON, Pa. – Incumbent Democrat Lamont McClure will keep his seat as Northampton County executive, after beating out Republican Steve Lynch.
McClure received 56% of the vote, while Lynch got 44%.
McClure, of Bethlehem Township, was running for a second four-year term against Lynch, from Northampton, who is a political newcomer as well as a bodybuilder and fitness trainer.
During his campaign, Lynch gained national attention when he said at an anti-mask rally that he would take "20 strong men" and remove members of the Northampton Area school board. McClure has called Lynch a "domestic terrorist."
Staffing and the management of Gracedale Nursing Home in Upper Nazareth Township had been important focal points for both candidates' campaigns.
Last week, Lynch blamed McClure and his administration for staffing shortages at the county-run nursing home. He has denounced the COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates, and says he will defend people's constitutional rights from what he deems government overreach.
For his part, McClure says his administration's ability to collaborate with area hospitals in getting 92% of residents and 65% of county employees vaccinated, without imposing mandates on county employees, demonstrates his ability to handle a crisis.
The preservation of open space at a time when warehouses are proliferating in the Lehigh Valley has also been part of McClure's platform. Throughout the past four years, he has said the best way to prevent warehouses from being built on land is to own the land or pay to ensure that it remains undeveloped.
During his annual budget address in October, McClure proposed an 8.5% tax cut for Northampton County residents. That budget still needs to be reviewed and approved by county council.
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