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Lehigh Valley Election News

Democrat Siegel rolls to victory in revamped 22nd District state House race

Smith Siegel District 22
Republican Robert Smith (left) and Democrat Josh Siegel (right) vied for the empty seat atop the 22nd District.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Democrat Josh Siegel easily won Allentown’s empty 22nd District state House seat over Republican Robert Smith, according to complete but unofficial results.

Siegel won the seat, which was made possible through recent redistricting, 6,356 votes, or 63% of the vote, to 3,641, or 36%.

They were running to represent a district that was revamped with the intent to provide more opportunity for minority candidates.

But after a challenge to his nominating petitions, the only minority candidate for the district, Noberto Dominguez, dropped out early in the race.

The 22nd District’s boundaries have moved to cover parts of eastern Allentown as well as parts of Fountain Hill, leaving incumbent Democrat Peter Schweyer no longer a resident of this newly reshaped district.

Schweyer instead ran and won a seat to represent the 134th District.

Seigel, 28, is a member of Allentown City Council—a position he’s held for three years. He is also the chief of staff for Lehigh County Controller Mark Pinsley.

"I think we ran an amazing campaign, we got out to voters, we had a message about relieving people's rising cost of living and inflation, and I think obviously it resonated" said Siegel. "I think we had a commanding victory."

Smith, 60, has spent 16 years as a member of the Allentown School Board. He also previously served as a city councilman in Allentown.

Smith left the campaign headquarters of Lisa Scheller at Hotel Bethlehem around 11:00 pm unsure of where the numbers would lead by morning.

Both men profess similar stances on some issues.

They both support a woman’s right to choose. Siegel was endorsed by Planned Parenthood and Vote Pro-Choice and Smith has said as a Christian, he wouldn’t “legislate his beliefs on another person.”

Both also said they support the legalization of marijuana, with Smith saying he’d support it if it’s done slowly, while Siegel has argued that legalizing the drug could raise over a $1 billion in tax revenue that could be directed to the school system.

On other campaign points, they differed greatly.

Seigel called for legislation targeting the rising costs of everyday life. He said that corporate greed has led to the rise of inflation and that he would want to support ways that the government could step in to help protect taxpayers from price gouging.

Smith said property tax reform and cutting state taxes would be the ways he’d address inflation. His campaign claimed the cause of a raise in the cost of living was due to wasteful government spending.