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The new Democrats

New Bethlehem leaders work to bring party under one tent after tumultuous election season

— “Your job is to not only come around when they want a signature, but also come around other times to tell residents about a clean-up that’s happening, or an issue at Town Hall,” he said. “This is about being a part of the community.”

Deputy Supervisor John Smolinsky, a new committee member, said he has felt very included and thinks the new party is working well as an integrated group. But not everyone feels the same way.

“There’s definitely still a schism in the party,” said former Town Supervisor and current committee member Jack Cunningham. “There’s still a group of relatively militant-minded people who are not joining in with the group, but the majority are still working toward the future of the party.”

Cunningham said the political process is cyclical and 13 years ago when he joined the committee, a group similar to the Reform group had formed.

“We worked to get them out of the party,” he said. “We can do that again.”

Cunningham said the party needs to work together to create a unified environment, something that cannot be done if there are outsiders.

“We can run candidates just like the Reform group did,” he said. “In two years we can look for people to run against them who aren’t as adversarial.”

Kuhn said so far, he thinks the group is working together wonderfully and that most of the committee would agree. He declined to comment any further on Cunningham’s thoughts.

“I think a lot of people recognize the committee as the people who come around in the summer to get signatures... but we’re so much more than that,” said Kuhn. “We want people to realize what we do, and that we play a vital role in the community.”

The Bethlehem Democratic Committee is on the web at bethlehemdems.org.

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