Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, who said Sunday that he will run for Pennsylvania governor in 2014, kicked off his campaign Monday morning with an event in downtown Allentown.
"I cannot sit idly by and let our state continue to suffer.”
Immediately after his announcement in Allentown, Pawlowski is planning a tour across the state that will carry him to 23 counties in nine days. Monday stops for Pawlowski include Harrisburg and City Hall.
Pawlowski announced his candidacy on the Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC.
Pawlowski also is currently running for a third term as mayor. He has secured both the Democratic and Republican nominations for the November election.
"As mayor I will continue to give my heart and soul to serve our city to the best of my ability," he said. "But the challenges facing Pennsylvania, like proper funding for education and rebuilding our infrastructure, demand an experienced leader in Harrisburg who has the proven know-how to get results."
In the release, Pawlowski touts his record as mayor, saying Allentown has reversed an $8 million budget deficit, added 80 officers to its police force and reduced crime almost 30 percent. He says he has worked with local, state and federal officials across party lines in the downtown's revitalization efforts.
Pawlowski has a master’s degree in urban planning and public policy from the University of Illinois. He began his career as a community organizer on Chicago’s southwest side and became executive director of Windows of Opportunity, a non-profit subsidiary of the Chicago Housing Authority.
He was recruited to work for Allentown as the director of community and economic development before becoming Allentown mayor in January 2006.
Pawlowski and his wife, Lisa, a community activist and licensed social worker, live in Center City Allentown. They have two children, Mercy and Alex, who attend Allentown public schools.