Thursday, November 08, 2007

Aide set to be youngest on Bethlehem City Council

Political newcomer J. William Reynolds on Tuesday captured a seat on Bethlehem City Council, making him the youngest council member ever and continuing the Democratic Party's monopoly of the board.

'I didn't run for council to set any record -- this is the town I grew up in, the town I love, and I ran to make it better,'' Reynolds said while watching the election returns with friends at the Bethlehem Brew Works. ''No one's life is going to get better by one election. It's what happens over the next four years that matters.''

Reynolds ran an aggressive campaign in the more competitive and crowded primary field and kept up the pressure during the fall as he, two incumbent Democrats and Republican Lee vied for three council seats.

At candidates' forums this year, 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.

Before Reynolds, now-Mayor John Callahan held the distinction as being the youngest city councilman when he was elected in 1997 at the age of 28.

Reynolds was a star athlete at Moravian College and Liberty High School and now works as a legislative aide for state Rep. Steve Samuelson, D-Northampton and Lehigh.

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