Barletta was a supporter of Trump
He will try to unseat Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat
Republican Rep. Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania announced a Senate campaign on Tuesday, challenging Democratic Sen. Bob Casey.
In a campaign video published Tuesday morning, Barletta, who was an early backer of Donald Trump during his presidential campaign, said he will challenge Casey to make “Pennsylvania and America great again.”
In the video, Barletta said he himself “wasn’t born with a famous last name” – a reference to Casey, whose father served as Pennsylvania governor.
Still, Barletta enters the race as the best-known Republican in the primary field. Already, state Reps. Rick Saccone and Jim Christiana are running, as well as real estate executive Jeff Bartos.
Bartos has signaled he’ll aggressively fight Barletta, airing a television spot knocking both Barletta and Casey by showing their pictures as a narrator says: “Career politicians make big promises but fail to deliver.”
With his bid to try to unseat Casey, Barletta will not run for re-election to the House of Representatives. Casey is running for his third term in the Senate.
Trump narrowly won Pennsylvania during the 2016 election – and Barletta backed Trump in March 2016, telling Politico he wanted other representatives to back him too.
“I wish that the establishment, instead of trying to stop Trump, you know, would look at why he’s so popular and coalesce around him so that it’s one team in November. Donald Trump is bringing a record amount of Democrats and independents…we should embrace that,” he said.
Before Barletta was elected into the House, he served as the mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, his hometown.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Rick Saccone’s name.
CNN’s Eric Bradner and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.