Barletta launched his website and a video announcement early this morning. A congressman who takes a hard line on illegal immigration, Barletta supported Trump early in his presidential run.
Several Republicans have been waiting for Barletta to announce his decision, among them former Pennsylvania Secretary of Revenue Dan Meuser and state Rep. Tarah Toohil, R-Butler Township, who are reportedly both interested in seeking his House seat.
In the recently released video, Barletta never mentioned the president, but he echoed Trump in urging Pennsylvanians to sign up and donate to his campaign to "make Pennsylvania and America great again".
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He won his House seat during the Republican midterm wave of 2010 after drawing national attention when as mayor of Hazleton he pushed an ordinance meant to punish businesses that hire undocumented immigrants and landlords who rent to the immigrants.
His entry into the race was widely expected after the AP reported last month that Barletta had relayed his plans to GOP officials and activists. The latest was the revelation that Barletta's Senate campaign is listed as one of the clients for BrabenderCox, one of the largest public relations firms in the Pittsburgh area.
Mr. Casey is one of 10 Senate Democrats up for re-election in 2018 in states carried by Mr. Trump.
"I have been very encouraged by everyone I've talked to", Barletta has stated.