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Allentown mayor: ‘No doubt’ I’m running for re-election next year

Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk
Jay Bradley
Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk said there's 'no doubt' he will run for re-election.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — As most turn their attention to a potential presidential rematch in November, Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk is beginning to look at the election that comes after.

He's yet to officially launch a re-election campaign, but it's safe to assume he'll run in 2025 for a second term.

“I've never made any secret about my intention to run for re-election next year,” Tuerk told LehighValleyNews.com. “There should be no doubt in anybody's mind. I love the job that I'm doing.

“I want to keep doing this. I have every intention of continuing to do this work through at least another term.”

“I expect to serve the city of Allentown in some capacity for the remainder of my life; I love this place."
Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk

Tuerk was elected Allentown's mayor in 2021 after working eight years for the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp.

He served in a leadership role at the Allentown Economic Development Corporation before that.

“I expect to serve the city of Allentown in some capacity for the remainder of my life," Tuerk said. "I love this place.

“The most effective way for me to serve the city is by being mayor."

Campaign season coming

Tuerk said he thinks his “work is making Allentown a little bit better place for all of our residents.”

He said those residents have been “incredibly supportive of the work that I'm doing here in Allentown” during his more than two years in the job.

The mayor touted his accomplishments last month during his 2024 State of the City address, saying he has “championed change” and transformed City Hall into a more efficient, “data-driven” organization.

He's also not seen eye-to-eye with Allentown City Council.

In December, council took a 4-3 vote of no-confidence against Tuerk in a resolution that called his service “a detriment to the well-being of the city, its residents and city employees.”

It came as the city moved ahead with hiring a consultant to investigate claims of racism and discrimination in city government that Tuerk has said he welcomes.

In January, new council President Cynthia Mota, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the no-confidence measure, said she wanted to move on and strike a better relationship with the administration.

Construction boom, more targeted

Tuerk said many experiments and adjustments within city government played a major part in the city issuing more than 7,500 construction permits and 525 business licenses last year.

A proposal submitted by the city was chosen in December among 22 finalists for significant funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Distressed Area Recompete Pilot Program.

Allentown is pushing for a grant of up to $50 million that Tuerk, U.S. Sen Bob Casey and other leaders say would provide a “transformative” boost in some of the city’s most distressed neighborhoods.

Winning a grant that large would let the city address systemic barriers to employment, such as inadequate transportation and child care services, on the city’s East Side and downtown, Tuerk has said.

It likely also would serve as a major victory Tuerk could point to on the campaign trail ahead of the 2025 municipal primary, which is yet to be scheduled.