There is still a week to go until Election Day, and Steve Lynch, the Republican candidate for the Northampton County executive, has launched a slew of allegations at the current administration, ranging from conditions in the nursing home belonging to the county to illegal immigration and electoral irregularities.
Lynch brought the charges publicly before about 75 enthusiastic supporters outside the Gracedale Nursing Home on Monday, saying all of the allegations warranted investigation, possibly even criminal charges.
But whatever information Lynch may have, it has yet to be passed on to law enforcement or any agency with the authority to follow up, he told lehighvalleylive.com after the press conference. . He said some physical evidence would be released to reporters, but none had been seen on Monday evening, making it difficult to verify anecdotal claims as time is running out until the voting deadline.
During the parenthesis, Lynch also raised his suspicions about the 2020 election (“I think what we saw happen on election night 2020 is not what actually happened”) and would not commit to accepting next week’s county executive vote count.
“(I) am not going to answer that at all at this point because I have no idea how things are going to turn out on election night. We will be careful, see what happens on election day, ”he said, awaiting reports from polling stations the same day, although residents can also vote by mail. “(I) have no idea what’s going to happen – that’s impossible to answer at this time depending on what we’re going to see over the next few days and on Election Day.”
Lynch’s Democratic opponent, outgoing county executive Lamont McClure, responded to every point in Lynch’s afternoon press conference Monday night. Overall, he said, it was a bunch of sleight of hand.
“It’s Halloween week,” McClure said, “so you’ve got a scary guy over there who is telling misinformation, half-truths and outright lies in order to scare people off.”
McClure has said he is ready to accept the election results regardless of the outcome. “This is the essence of our democracy.
CANDIDATE PROFILES: Northampton County Executive
McClure, of Bethlehem Township, is a former member of Northampton County Council and is completing his first four-year term as County Director.
Lynch, from the Northampton area, told her Facebook followers to “stop watching the news” and dismissed the COVID-19 restrictions as government excesses. He was in Washington, DC on Jan.6 when supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying election results – he did been charged with no wrongdoing.
In August, Lynch controversially called for “20 strong men” to oust school boards that require students to wear masks. He then claimed his comments were taken out of context and were not meant to be threatening. His website now sells T-shirts that say “I’m 1 in 20; I have your 6. “At least one person wore the shirt at Monday’s event.
The first half of Lynch’s roughly 20-minute assembly focused on comments from two former Gracedale employees who spoke at a recent County Council meeting. They said the current staff are overwhelmed by resignations or layoffs. At least one of them said she refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
One of them, Stacy Soldo, of Bethlehem, spoke again on Monday. She accused the county of intimidation and intimidation. She said a hostile work environment had scattered staff to the point of exhaustion and created potentially dangerous conditions. Then she let the Republican down: “Change has to happen,” she said, “and it starts with Steve Lynch.”
In response, McClure said the former employees who spoke are “clearly wronged… avowed anti-vaccines.” He said frequent unfounded complaints are being investigated by the state’s health department (which could not be immediately reached for comment on Monday evening). He said the county was open about its staffing needs and a hiring freeze prior to his administration left Gracedale in a pinch long before the COVID-19 pandemic.
McClure also said that despite President Joe Biden’s promises, the federal government has not formulated a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for nursing homes. He said 92% of Gracedale residents and 65% of staff received an injection, that there is currently no coronavirus infection in Gracedale and that no residents have died from the virus since April.
Lynch also criticized the county executive for immigration policies, prompting boos from the crowd when he alleged that McClure asked the county not to comply with immigration or customs enforcement. United States, or ICE.
McClure issued an executive order in March 2020 restricting certain ICE actions in the county courthouse after a man was taken into federal custody without presenting a warrant.
Regarding the election campaign allegations, Lynch said a Gracedale administrator offered to speak to staff and residents who received mail showing Gracedale falling off a cliff, wondering if that would happen for the missives democrats. He also alleged that someone intercepted GOP mail before it reached residents and shredded it.
To those statements, McClure said Lynch should have apologized for Lynch’s Gracedale mail. He also said he believed Lynch was lying about the interception of party mail, but asked administrators to look into the matter – if there is any truth, McClure said, that person will be punished.
Further, Lynch alleged that the county executive overstepped its authority and overturned the election commission by hiring an election registrar and purchasing electronic poll books – devices that keep track of eligible voters – ahead of the election. 2020. “And we know how it went,” Lynch said.
McClure responded to these claims by saying the county was following its charter of autonomy, under which the electoral administrator reports to the county executive, although he could not speak to the specific methods used previously. “Lynch made no effort to understand the county government,” McClure said.
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Steve Novak can be reached at [email protected].