Toomey endorses Reschenthaler over Saccone in GOP primary |

Toomey endorses Reschenthaler over Saccone in GOP primary

Stephanie Strasburg | Trib Total Media
Guy Reschenthaler greets supporters at Crowne Plaza South Hotel in Bethel Park after declaring victory in the 37th District state Senate race in November 2015.

Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey endorsed Guy Reschenthaler’s campaign for the U.S. House on Thursday, supporting the 34-year-old state senator over primary opponent Rick Saccone.

Reschenthaler of Jefferson Hills is pursuing the party’s nomination in the May 15 primary election for the new 14th District in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Saccone, 60, a state representative from Elizabeth, was the party’s nominee for the special election he lost two weeks ago to Democrat Conor Lamb in the old 18th District.

The state Supreme Court redrew the state’s congressional districts last month after ruling an old map was unconstitutionally gerrymandered to benefit Republicans. The new 14th District covers much of the same territory as the old 18th District.

“Guy Reschenthaler is a principled conservative who served our country in Iraq. I know he will fight for our shared values in Washington,” Toomey said in a statement. A dozen other state and local Republicans joined in the endorsement.

Saccone lost the March 13 special election despite outside groups spending more than $10 million to support him. He won the party’s nomination for the election over Reschenthaler and state Sen. Kim Ward, of Hempfield in November.

Ward is one of the Republicans who joined in to endorse Reschenthaler on Thursday.

“While Rick Saccone is a good man, outside money poured in on his behalf in his last congressional race to the tune of about $12 million, and we still lost a seat we were never supposed to lose,” Ward said in a statement on the endorsement. “I think it’s risky to take that route again.”

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676, [email protected] or via Twitter @wesventeicher.

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