Elections

Pa. votes Lou Barletta to face incumbent Democrat Sen. Bob Casey

President Trump asked Barletta to run for U.S. Senate

HARRISBURG (WKBN/AP) - Pennsylvania voters have chosen U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta to face incumbent Democrat Bob Casey in November.

Barletta is endorsed by the state Republican Party and is a favorite of President Donald Trump, who Barletta endorsed in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump asked Barletta to run for U.S. Senate — the pair are on good enough terms that Barletta watched this year's Super Bowl with Trump at the Republican president's Mar-a-Lago club in Florida — and Barletta remains a staunch supporter.

He was heavily favored over state Rep. Jim Christiana.

Casey was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

Barletta has run for months as the GOP's presumptive nominee, targeting his criticism toward Casey.

"He has resisted, rejected and obstructed every single thing that Donald Trump has done," Barletta told a Lancaster County Republican Party dinner crowd Thursday night.

Casey, a fierce Trump critic, is seeking a third six-year term. The Scranton native is the son of the late former governor, Bob Casey Sr., and is possibly the best-known political name in Pennsylvania.

Barletta won his House seat during the Republican midterm wave of 2010, catapulted by the attention he received while mayor of the small city of Hazleton for cracking down on immigrants in the country illegally.

Casey is one of 10 Democratic senators who represent a state won by Trump, putting a target on his back for Republicans. The GOP has a slight majority in the U.S. Senate.

For now, Casey holds a large cash advantage over Barletta, $9.9 million to $1.3 million as of April 25. Casey also has midterm political winds at his back -- the party of the president nearly always loses seats in Congress in midterm elections.

Barely any outside money has made its way into Pennsylvania thus far to help Casey or Barletta, making it unlikely that Pennsylvanians will see a repeat of the record-breaking $180 million U.S. Senate race in 2016 that Republican Sen. Pat Toomey won by fewer than 2 percentage points.


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