HARRISBURG (WSKG) – A challenger for Democratic US Senator Bob Casey’s seat is likely to announce his candidacy within the next few weeks. GOP Congressman Lou Barletta would be Casey’s highest-profile challenger to date.
He hasn’t made his run official yet, and a spokesman didn’t confirm it. But the Associated Press has reported he’s already telling GOP officials about his plans.
The Hazelton Republican is closely tied to President Donald Trump. He was the second member of Congress to endorse Trump, campaigned with him extensively, and served as a member of the presidential transition team.
Barletta has been in Congress since 2010, but first made a name for himself as a strong opponent of illegal immigration on a more local level.
As mayor of Hazelton during an immigration boom, he drew considerable publicity for an aggressive ordinance that aimed to punish businesses that employed undocumented immigrants, and landlords who rented to them.
It was later struck down in appellate court.
Casey, a two-term incumbent whose father served as Pennsylvania’s governor from 1987 to 1995, has a significant fundraising start.
At the end of June, he reported $5.6 million in his campaign account.