Emmaus resident John Reynard may be arriving late to the party, but he’s certainly done a lot to let people know he’s walked through the door.
Reynard, a personal investment consultant, was named a mere two weeks ago by the Lehigh County Democratic Committee as the committee’s pick to on the November ballot in the 134th state House district race. Reynard will face in the fall election.
Reynard has almost 20 years of private sector experience working in both for-profit and not-for-profit education and providing investment and estate advice to local Pennsylvanians. He says that he has worked throughout his career to increase economic literacy in the Lehigh Valley and Pennsylvania as a whole. Reynard has taught business and economics at Lehigh University and Lehigh Carbon Community College and worked as a financial adviser at Merrill-Lynch.
generated some criticism of Reynard in the comment stream by Patch readers who did everything from accuse Reynard of having a criminal record to chastise him for going “right for the throat” in his characterizations of opponent Mackenzie.
Patch recently had the opportunity to talk to Reynard about the things those readers had to say about him. Here’s how he responded:
To the Patch reader who accused Reynard of having “2 criminal charges and 1 criminal conviction on his record” he responds:
“We moved to Emmaus to help take care of my wife’s grandmother who was terminally ill with bone cancer. My son was just diagnosed with autism. I was pulled over on Cedar Crest Boulevard for driving without insurance.
“The insurance had been expired for one day. With everything that was going on in our lives at the time, it was the last thing on my mind. I paid a fine and I had the car back two days later. The last time I looked, driving without insurance was a civil offense in the state of Pennsylvania not a criminal one. It was a mistake, not a criminal offense.
“That’s exactly the type of stuff that keeps people from running for office. My life is not perfect,” he said.
To the Patch reader who criticized Reynard’s investment consulting business, and its focus on “socially responsible investing,” he responds:
“I am who I am. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and that is what America is all about. It’s about doing what is right for yourself and for your family,” he said.
To the Patch reader who questioned Reynard’s characterization of Mackenzie as a “partisan campaign hack,” he responds:
“I have friends in both parties and I know for a fact that people with substantially more experience than Ryan Mackenze were just a step short of putting their names in to run in the primary and they were asked not to. Everyone except for backed off.
“I am not sure I used the words ‘political hack.’ Someone involved in the conversation called him a political hack. They may not have been my words, but they do make my point,” he said.
To the Patch reader who took issue with Reynard’s characterization of Mackenzie as a “no experience kid” he says:
“I like Ryan as a human being. I just don’t think that at 28 years old he is ready to be making laws for the people of Pennsylvania.
“Until you have kids, you don’t know what it’s like to have kids. Until you have paid a mortgage, paid property taxes, mowed a yard, you can’t understand what life is like from the perspective of the voters of Pennsylvania.
“It doesn’t mean that he’s not smart – of course he’s smart. He went to Harvard. It just means he’s not ready yet. He’s been in a very insulated world. He just needs to live a bit,” he said.
The 134th District includes Lower Macungie, Emmaus, Macungie, Alburtis and parts of South Whitehall, Upper Macungie, Upper Milford, and Salisbury in Lehigh County and Hereford, Bally, District, Washington and Bechtelsville in Berks County.