BURNHAM - One of the Democratic candidates hoping to challenge Republican Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett in the 2014 general election stopped in Mifflin County on Monday on a two-day whirlwind tour throughout the commonwealth.
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski appeared at J.P. Edward's restaurant as part of his "Putting Pennsylvania Back to Work" jobs tour. Pawlowski has served as mayor of the third largest city in Pennsylvania for the past seven years.
Pawlowski said if he was elected, that in addition to job growth, his priorities would be breaking the political gridlock in Harrisburg and reinvesting in education.
Sentinel photo by BUFFIE BOYER
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski arrives Monday at J.P. Edward’s in Burnham for a campaign stop during his bid to run for governor of Pennsylvania.
Pawlowski said Corbett has "decimated public schools" by slashing their budget.
He also said the gridlock in Harrisburg is in almost every corner of the government and the recent passage of the state's transportation bill was only made possible when former Gov. Ed Rendell intervened and persuaded some legislators to back it.
Pawlowski is running in a crowded field of seven other Democratic candidates for governor, but said he feels he has the best qualifications given his background as mayor and executive experience.
Since 2011 Pennsylvania went from seventh in job growth in the nation to 49th and unemployment is now above the national average, Powlowski said. Adding insult to injury Powlowski said "there is a massive brain drain" and young people are leaving the state for work elsewhere.
Pawlowski said the successful revitalization in Allentown, which brought 4,000 new jobs and $1 billion in investments was made possible through bipartisan legislation.
Pawlowski said the since he took office he has seen Allentown's financial situation take a dramatic turn for the better. What was once a multimillion dollar deficit has now been transformed into a surplus, the mayor said.
Pawlowski said the city also managed to fully fund pensions and bring the crime rate down by hiring more police officers and targeting high crime areas.
The mayor also said this is the ninth consecutive year with no property tax increases in Allentown.
Pawlowski said Allentown is the fastest growing city in the state, which would not have happened without reaching across party lines.
Pawlowski said there is not a Democratic or Republican way of accomplishing goals, but instead "there is the right way and the wrong way."
"The governor has not shown leadership in pulling people together," he said.