on February 17, 2015 at 7:52 PM, updated February 17, 2015 at 8:30 PM
Lehigh County Democrats are fielding a full slate of candidates to compete for the four at-large seats on the county board of commissioners.
County Executive Tom Muller formally announced Joanne Jackson, Bob Martin, Hillary Smith and Dan Hartzell Tuesday during a campaign event at the Westgate Mall.
“I am very pleased to introduce to you a slate of candidates for county commissioner — a group of people that I will actually be able to work with,” Muller said in a prepared statement.
The relationship between county commissioners and Muller have been strained since the Democrat took office, and that tension was on full display last week after the board reclaimed from the executive the responsibility for labor negotiations.
Jackson is a retired teacher, who taught in the Allentown, Bethlehem and Southern Lehigh school districts. The one-time Allentown school board member currently lives in Upper Saucon Township.
Martin, an Upper Macungie Township resident, has worked in marketing and corporate communications for Mack Trucks, Lehigh Valley Hospital, Rodale and most recently Avantor Performance Materials. He was also a founding board member of the America On Wheels Transportation Museum.
Smith is a freelance copywriter and marketing professional. The Lower Macungie Township resident serves as the president of the East Penn Democrats Club and first vice chairwoman of the Lehigh County Democratic Committee.
Hartzell is a former Morning Call reporter, who covered county and local government and wrote “The Road Warrior” column.
The candidates are supported by the political action committee Citizens for a Better Lehigh County, that includes on its board Muller, Smith, state Reps. Michael Schlossberg and Peter Schweyer, and county Commissioners Geoff Brace and David Jones.
A similar PAC, Citizen for a Better Allentown include Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Schweyer and Schlossberg.
Republican incumbents Brad Osborne, Vic Mazziotti and Amanda Holt have already announced they will seek re-election. They are joined by former Olympian Marty Nothstein. Commissioner Lisa Scheller will not seek re-election.