Hozza kicks off campaign
Whitehall Township Mayor Edward D. Hozza Jr. has officially announced his candidacy for re-election.
The announcement took place Feb. 26 at Egypt Memorial Park Community Building.
Hozza, who is wrapping up his eighth year as mayor, said the May primary is the most important election of our time.
"There are outside influences trying to take over our township," said Hozza, flanked by his wife, Denise, and children, Elise and Michael, at the gathering of more than 80 people.
Hozza initially did not elaborate but later said the reference was to Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski who was present when Whitehall Township Commissioner Gerard "Jerry" Palagonia announced he was seeking the Democratic nomination for mayor.
It's "unprecedented" that a mayor from another community would get involved in an election campaign outside his municipality, Hozza told The Press. He said Palagonia retained Fleck Consulting, a political consulting company that was active in Pawlowski's campaign.
"This guy [Hozza] I would like to have as my mayor," said Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller. "I think there are outside influences into the campaign. It's unbelievable."
"The statements by Mayor Ed Hozza are yet another example of his failure of leadership," said Palagonia in a written statement given to The Press Monday. "I am proud to have received the endorsement of a successful mayor like Ed Pawlowski, a man who has shown that he can't redevelop vacant properties, something that Ed Hozza has been unable to do as mayor of Whitehall."
Palagonia's statement also says the community would benefit more from people working together than from having them isolate themselves.
"I believe we can accomplish far more than when we are at odds with one another," Palagonia said.
Among those present at the campaign announcement were township commissioners Phillips Armstrong, Philip Ginder, Dennis Hower, Tom Slonaker, former Commissioner Dick Fahringer, commissioner candidate Ann Freyman, Coplay Mayor Joseph Bundra, North Catasauqua Mayor Bill Molchany Jr. and Northampton Mayor Thomas Reenock.