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Rick Saccone’s campaign confirms bid for newly drawn 14th Congressional District

Natasha Lindstrom
gtrsaccone539031418
Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review
Republican candidate Rick Saccone speaks to supporters at an election night party Tuesday, March 13, 2018, at the Youghiogheny Country Club.
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Jack Fordyce | Tribune-Review
Republican congressional candidate Rick Saccone speaks during a rally with President Trump at Pittsburgh International Airport on March 10, 2018.

Republican Rick Saccone announced Thursday he is making a bid for Pennsylvania’s newly drawn 14th Congressional District while he awaits the final results of this week’s special election to represent a soon-to-be defunct 18th District.

Saccone, 60, has begun circulating petitions to compete in a state Supreme Court-drawn district that includes Fayette, Washington and Greene counties and the western portion of Westmore­land County, according to Bob Branstetter, a political consultant with Saccone’s campaign.

Saccone does not live in the new 14th District, which is set go into effect during the May 15 primary election.

Nor does at least one of his opponents , Republican state Sen. Guy Reschenthaler of Jefferson Hills.

Congressional candidates are not required to live in the district they want to represent.

Running in Elizabeth’s new 18th District — which centers on Pittsburgh — would have pitted Saccone against Democrat incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle in a region far more likely to vote Democratic.

Republicans are believed to have a far greater chance at getting elected in the new 14th District, whose more suburban and rural voters favored President Trump in the 2016 election by about 20 percentage points.

Westmoreland County state Sen. Kim Ward and Washington County state Sen. Camera Bartolotta, both Republicans, indicated they would not be competing in the 14th District, the Beaver County Times reported.

PennLive’s John Micek squashed rumors that Washington County Commissioner Diana Irey Vaughan was going to join the race.

Vaughan issued a statement assuring her commitment to competing as gubernatorial candidate Republican Paul Mango’s running-mate in her bid for lieutenant governor.

Saccone has yet to concede in his ongoing bid for the pre-Supreme Court-drawn 18th District. He unofficially trails Democrat Conor Lamb by 627 votes , with about 375 provisional, military and overseas ballots still being counted through early next week.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has vowed to contemplate legal recourse and called for an investigation into possible voting machine calibration issues and other alleged problems it suggests may have violated typical elections rules and procedures.

Lamb, 33, of Mt. Lebanon, is in the midst of his own second campaign in the newly drawn 17th Congressional District , which includes all of Beaver County, part of Allegheny, and a sliver of Butler County.

Lamb faces a potential electoral showdown against Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus.

Dr. Bob Solomon, 60, a 32-year emergency physician from Oakdale, announced last month he is seeking the newly drawn 14th District’s Democratic nomination.

RELATED: Emergency physician seeks Democratic nod in 14th District

Natasha Lindstrom is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-380-8514, [email protected] or via Twitter @NewsNatasha.

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