Barletta, eyeing a run for Pennsylavnia governor, starts raising money

Politics

Republican Senate candidate Lou Barletta speaks in front of US President Donald Trump at a political rally at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on August 2, 2018. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Lou Barletta, the Trump-backing former congressman who unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate, has taken a step toward possibly running for governor of Pennsylvania in 2022 and begun a political action committee to raise money.

Barletta told The Associated Press a month ago that he was considering running and would decide in the coming weeks on whether to seek the Republican nomination for governor.

The website for Barletta’s new political action committee, Change PAC, lays out his views on a range of topics and on how they affect Pennsylvania.

Barletta, 65, was a staunch and early supporter of Donald Trump during the 2016 Republican presidential primary. He won a seat in Congress in northeastern Pennsylvania during 2010′s Republican wave after rising to national prominence as the mayor of small-city Hazleton where he tried to combat illegal immigration through tough municipal laws.

Despite his close relationship with Trump, Barletta’s was unable to make that support translate to the 2018 race for U.S. Senate and lost by 13 percentage points to Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey .

Still, if he runs, Barletta would likely be considered the front-runner in what could be a crowded GOP primary next spring.

Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, is constitutionally term-limited from serving a third term. Attorney General Josh Shapiro is widely expected to seek the Democratic nomination.

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