ShareThis Page
Pat Toomey endorses Lou Barletta in Pa. Senate race |

Pat Toomey endorses Lou Barletta in Pa. Senate race

Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., a member of the Senate Budget Committee, heads to the floor during a series of votes at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017.
Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., talks with reporters after a meeting with then President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York.

Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey is backing U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta in the Hazleton congressman’s bid this year to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey.

In a video announcing his endorsement in the contested GOP primary, Toomey described Barletta as “a trusted conservative and a relentless fighter for hard-working Pennsylvanians.” He cited Barletta’s efforts to curb illegal immigration and his opposition to Obamacare specifically.

“When we recently needed an ally in the House to pass the most sweeping tax reforms in a generation, Lou was there every step of the way,” Toomey said in a statement. “It’s time we all unite behind Lou and support him with our time, our energy, and most of all, with our vote.”

Barletta’s fellow U.S. House Republicans have lined up publicly in support of him, while top GOP leaders in the Pennsylvania Legislature have announced support for one of their fellow lawmakers, state Rep. Jim Christiana of Beaver County.

Barletta also drew an endorsement edge in recent straw polls of Republican State Committee members from northeastern and central Pennsylvania – regions overlapping with his U.S. House district.

In his endorsement, Toomey noted the massive amount of money spent by the candidates and outside interest groups in his own 2016 re-election battle, which set national records for spending in a Senate race. The Republican senator said he expects this year’s race also will draw significant spending from national advocacy groups.

So far, Casey’s re-election bid for U.S. Senate has not been targeted by political analysts as among the top competitive nationally, despite the Democratic incumbent running in a state won by Republican President Donald Trump in 2016.

But Barletta was an early Trump ally, lending a national dynamic to the contest if he is successful in the May 15 primary. Trump has publicly encouraged Barletta’s candidacy, and a general election battle with Barletta on the ticket would likely be viewed as a referendum on the president.

Casey reported last week that he had $8.6 million on hand at the end of 2017. Barletta’s campaign said his next finance report, due at the end of the month, will show he had close to $1.1. million on Dec. 31.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.