Mayor Pawlowski announces his candidacy for U.S. Senate in front of the PPL Center on April 23.

Mayor Pawlowski announces his candidacy for U.S. Senate in front of the PPL Center on April 23.

The campaign for U.S. Senate is under way.

Mayor Ed Pawlowski, now serving his third term and 10th year as Allentown’s mayor, formally announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate through social media on April 17. He then held four live campaign kickoff events, starting on April 23 in front of the PPL Center in Allentown.

“We all know Washington is broken,” Pawlowski said. “I believe we need someone who has real world experience in solving problems—to reach across the aisle and make things happen. To get things done.

“That’s what I have been doing for the past 10 years in Allentown.”

Pawlowski is currently focusing his attention on raising money for the campaign, which will be costly. Incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey spent nearly $17 million to win election in 2010. To face Toomey in November 2016, Pawlowski will have to defeat former U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak in the Democratic primary. Sestak lost to Toomey in the 2010 election.

The mayor will host a fundraiser picnic on Sunday, June 28, at the Grange Park Pavilion.

Pawlowski also held announcement events in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Erie during which he picked up numerous endorsements from elected officials and union leaders from across the state, including:

  • The Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters, Philadelphia
  • International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 542
  • Lehigh Valley Building Trades
  • Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez
  • Easton Mayor Sal Panto
  • Lehigh County Executive Tom Muller
  • State Rep. Michael H. Schlossberg
  • State Rep. Peter Schweyer
  • State Rep. Daniel T. McNeill
  • State Rep. Thomas R Caltagirone
  • Adrian Shanker, chair of the LGBT Caucus of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party
  • Easton Vice Mayor Ken Brown
  • Erie City Controller Teresa Stankiewicz
  • Erie City Councilman Casimir Kwitowski
  • Northampton County Councilman Scott Parsons
  • Lehigh County Commissioner Geoff Brace
  • Allentown City Councilman Julio Guridy
  • Allentown City Councilman Daryl Hendricks
  • Allentown School Director Charlie Thiel
  • Allentown Controller Mary Ellen Koval

“Mayor Ed Pawlowski has a record of getting things done for Allentown and its hard working people,” said Robert Heenan, business manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 542, which hosted one of four campaign announcement events at its union hall.

“The mayor shares our values. He understands that in order to make our economy work, we need to invest in rebuilding our infrastructure. Only by doing that can we be more globally competitive and deliver good jobs to hardworking families.”

Demonstrating his commitment to infrastructure investment, Pawlowski was part of a contingent of several dozen U.S. mayors to visit Capitol Hill in May to urge Congressional leaders to find a long-term funding plan to fix America’s crumbling roads and bridges.

Nearly one quarter of all American bridges are structurally deficient or obsolete. In Pennsylvania alone, 23 percent of its 22,660 bridges are considered to be structurally deficient by the American Society of Civil Engineers. That’s the highest total in the country.

“I can take my record of success and the lessons I’ve learned in Allentown to Washington and make things work for all of us again,” said Pawlowski. “The game has been rigged against us for too long. The playing field is not level. Businesses that think themselves too big to fail also seem to believe they are too big to care and we are too small to matter. Only together can we create change.”