BETHLEHEM — Town Supervisor John Clarkson announced on Tuesday, April 4, that he will not seek a fourth term in the office he has occupied since January 2012.
“I think he’ll be well remembered, and rightfully so, as a very good supervisor,” said Jeff Kuhn, chairman of the Bethlehem Democratic Committee. Declining to speculate as to the reasons for Clarkson’s decision, he said, “I was privileged to work with Supervisor Clarkson during my entire four years on the Town Board and I learned quickly that John had a bias toward action, which I think allowed us to accomplish a great deal to improve our municipal government in a relatively short time. I think that John was always willing to make the tough decisions and take the resulting political heat if he believed what he was doing was in the best interests of the greatest number of Bethlehem citizens.”
Kuhn said that the committee had announced it was accepting resumes and cover letters from potential candidates for all town-wide elected offices. They will collect those, including, now, any for the position of town supervisor, through April 15, after which they will be conducting interviews. “And then at our meeting on May 11, which is at Bethlehem Library and is open to the public, the committee will be making its formal endorsements,” he said, adding, “It’s a very transparent process by which we endorse candidates.”
According to Kuhn, at least one potential candidate has already submitted a resume for consideration.
“John’s service as Town Supervisor has been exceptional,” said Town Board member David VanLuven, widely seen as a likely candidate for the office. “He’s shown the creativity to solve tough problems and the courage to tackle hard challenges. Bethlehem is better today because of his leadership, and this is a legacy that will not be soon forgotten.” VanLuven said, however, that he is “very excited” to see who the Democratic Committee endorses in May.
“I would like to thank Supervisor Clarkson for the time he has dedicated to the community and wish him and his family the best in all of their future endeavors. I very much hope they remain involved in the community,” said Jim Foster. The Republican ran against Clarkson in 2015, and lost by only a handful of votes. While Foster’s campaign Facebook page is still active, he declined any formal announcements until the Bethlehem Republican Committee endorses a candidate. “I will not speculate as to committee endorsements of either party,” he said. “However, I will say that I think the community is ready to build upon the momentum and excitement we saw in the last race for Town Supervisor.”
“The Committee supported Jim Foster in the last election, which was extremely close,” said Melissa Kermani, chairman of the Bethlehem Republican Committee. “We are just as excited to support our full slate of candidates this election cycle.” Kermani said the committee would announce their selections in “an upcoming announcement and press release.”