Pennsylvania Rep and Major Trump Supporter Lou Barletta to Run for US Senate

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) will challenge incumbent Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) for the United States Senate in 2018, the Associated Press reports.

Barletta has reportedly begun telling GOP party officials but has not yet publicly declared his candidacy.

Barletta has been a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, and it is reported that Barletta decided to challenge Casey after being urged by the president.

He was also one of the first members of Congress to endorse Trump’s candidacy for the presidency, and he was even once rumored to be considered for a cabinet position in the Trump administration.

Barletta has long been known as a staunch supporter of conservative immigration policies, and when he was mayor of his hometown of Hazelton, Pennsylvania, he pushed to make English the town’s official language.

He has also supported the House GOP bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

For his part, Casey has been a vocal critic of the president, speaking out against his travel ban and the firing of now-former FBI Director James Comey.

By many factors, Pennsylvania is largely viewed as a blue state often won by Democrats; however, in 2016, Trump narrowly defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton 48.2 to 47.5 percent in the Commonwealth.

Trump’s victory in November gives Barletta reason to be optimistic about a run, though Casey is well-known statewide, and his large lead in fundraising will certainly help give him an advantage come election day.

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