Matt Tuerk makes history as Allentown’s 1st Spanish-speaking mayor

Written by on November 3, 2021

Matt Tuerk makes history as Allentown’s 1st Spanish-speaking mayor

By Genesis Ortega
November 3, 2021

Allentown mayor-elect Matt Tuerk and wife Karen Tuerk speak with supporters at the Americus Hotel. (Photo | Genesis Ortega / WLVR)

Democrat Matt Tuerk celebrated Tuesday night with supporters at the Americus Hotel in Allentown.

He capped a year-long campaign by claiming victory in the race for Allentown mayor — and made history along the way.

Listen to the story.

Tuerk, the grandson of a Cuban immigrant, will become Allentown’s first Spanish-speaking mayor in a city that has a growing, majority Hispanic population.

“We’re about to embark on something really special in Allentown with just a new look in the mayor’s office, and I think it’s something that the people in Allentown have been clamoring for,” Tuerk said.

According to unofficial election returns, Tuerk received 7,690 votes, or 63 percent of the ballots cast. Republican challenger Tim Ramos got 4,197 votes, or 35 percent. Independent candidate Solomon Tembo received 228 votes.

Tuerk celebrated the newly reopened Americus Hotel in the city center.

“For me the excitement and the confidence at this point is delivering on the promise, is getting to serve these beautiful people in the city of Allentown,” he said.

Tuerk, who’s never held elected office, promised a fresh perspective in city hall. The 45-year-old left his job with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation to run for mayor.

Ramos gathered with supporters on Election Night only a few blocks away at the Hamilton Business Center. He said he was pleased with his campaign. 

We worked very hard throughout the entire cycle,” Ramos said. “We got our message across very well.”

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