President Donald Trump is expected to campaign for Rick Saccone, a Republican state lawmaker running for a US House seat in Pennsylvania, later this month, according to a White House official and several other people familiar with the President’s plans.
The White House is eying February 21 for the President to travel to Pittsburgh to stump for Saccone in the special election in March for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. The seat was held by Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned in October after reports surfaced alleging that the anti-abortion rights Republican urged a woman he was having an affair with to have an abortion. Murphy did not return CNN’s request for comment at the time. He had previously said he would not seek reelection at the end of his term.
Last month, the President tweeted that he was giving his “total support to RICK SACCONE,” calling Saccone “a great guy.”
Trump’s tweet came in advance of a company tour in Pittsburgh, though his staff later said the visit to Pennsylvania was part of official White House business and not a campaign stop.
Vice President Mike Pence appeared alongside Saccone last week at a fundraising event that raised $250,000, according to a source close to Pence.
This will be the first GOP candidate that Trump has campaigned with since Republican Roy Moore’s stunning loss to Democrat Doug Jones in the special Senate election in Alabama in December. Advisers inside and outside the White House have emphasized a less-risky approach for endorsements in 2018, saying that Trump and Pence will not weigh in on primaries.