“My heart has always been in the city of Allentown.” Ben Long
TVL: Why did you decide to run for State Representative and why did you decide you wanted to do this?
Ben Long: I can honestly say this is not a position I went looking for. I have been involved in politics since I was fifteen years old and the Republican Party was looking for someone for this particular seat. I was essentially asked to do this. For a couple of months, I had given it a lot of thought and prayer and then it pretty much dawned on me if not me then who? If not now? Then when? I felt that I could make a difference in the community in which I grew up in. I am giving it everything I’ve got.
TVL: Were you born and raised in Allentown, Pa?
Ben Long: I was born in South Whitehall. My whole family is from the Lehigh Valley. My mom and her side of the family grew up on 19th Street in Allentown, so I am very familiar with the area. For being young, it is nice to be in a place where you know what you want to be. This is my community so I have a invested interest seeing that the community succeeds. My dad is an elected official on the Parkland School Board and my sister’s a Principal in Allentown. I want the community to succeed.
TVL: For you, Mr. Long, what would you like to accomplish as State Representative?
Ben Long: I have a genuine desire to do what is right on behalf of everyone in the district. We want to ensure that Allentown is a place people want to live so they have opportunities for jobs and quality education. We have to make sure that families are able to obtain jobs.
TVL: You have been going door-to-door to speak with people in the community. Why was that important to you to do that?
Ben Long: Number one when I initially said I wanted to run for State Representative. I knew that I wanted to give this everything that I have. I not only needed to talk a good game, I need to walk the walk. So, literally I walked the walk. If you are not willing to go to the door steps of your constitutes whether it be on the West End, the East side or center city. I’ve knocked on doors on Sixth Street [and all over Allentown] I’ve knocked on doors throughout the entire district so that people can actually see me in person, keep me accountable and know who I am as a person and that my intentions are good and my heart is here for them. It has been an incredibly gratifying experience.
TVL: What has been the biggest challenge you have faced so far?
Ben Long: It is tough when you are running against the “establishment.” I have made sacrifices in my own life.
TVL: Who are some people who have inspired you professionally to run for State Representative?
Ben Long: First and foremost the former Mayor of Allentown. Bill Heydt, he is a great encouragement to me. He is very wise, experienced business man and a public servant. He is someone who I look to for advice but a friend and somebody whom I can count on. Congressman Charlie Dent has been incredibly supportive of me. He ran for State Representative when he was just a couple years older than me. My dad as I mentioned is on the Parkland school board but not very politically at all. He just wants to give back to the community. Those people have been a great help to me, even before I was a candidate.
TVL: What would you to say to the residents of the Lehigh Valley?
Ben Long: Overall that you are not going to agree with me on every single position or every single idea because nobody does. I’m always going to be available and accessible to listen. I am always going to seek to do the right thing. Most importantly I am going to bring integrity back into our system.
Ben’s Official Site http://longforpa.com
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