Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Youngest candidate ever on his way for Bethlehem Council nomination

In a dramatic changing of the guard, the oldest Bethlehem City Council member, Magdalena Szabo, was edged out of the race to retain her seat Tuesday by the youngest challenger.

With 29 of the 37 precincts reporting, unofficial results show J. William Reynolds, a 25-year-old aide for a state legislator, secured one of the the three Democratic nominations for City Council with at least 1,654 votes. That was 481 more than Szabo got in those wards.

''I couldn't have done this without the help of a lot of people out there, my family and the support of Rep. Steve Samuelson,'' said Reynolds, who works for Samuelson, D-Lehigh.

''Most of all, I want to thank the Bethlehem voters who listened to me explain my vision of what Bethlehem could be when I walked into their neighborhoods and knocked on their doors.''

If Reynolds prevails, he will become the youngest councilman in the city's history.

At each of the three candidates forums, Reynolds drove home the message that he had more at stake than any other candidate running. As a young professional, he said, he knows the challenges Bethlehem faces to get young people to stay and raise families in the city.

Reynolds is a Democratic committeeman for the city's 1st Ward and also serves on the South Bethlehem Neighborhood Center board of directors. He graduated magna cum laude from Moravian College in 2003 and has worked for Samuelson the past four years.

Reynolds was a star basketball player at Liberty, where he was all-conference, and Moravian, where he lettered for three seasons.

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