Barletta wins Republican nomination for US Senate

Lou Barletta

Lou Barletta

Lou Barletta has captured the Republican nomination in Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race.

His opponent in November, Casey, of Scranton, has served in the U.S. Senate since 2006.

Christiana, of Beaver County, gained 35.9 percent. Independents and those not affiliated with one of the two major parties can't vote in today's nominating contests. Trump asked Barletta to run for Senate, and the president is expected to visit Pennsylvania to campaign for him.

But Barletta faces a formidable foe in Casey, son of the late Gov. Robert P. Casey and himself a former state treasurer and auditor general.

And Muhlenberg College poll found Casey had a 16-percentage-point edge over Barletta in a hypothetical matchup, CNBC said.

Christiana, 34, who spent the last decade as a state representative, won large portions of the western part of the state, but not enough to beat Barletta, who carried the central and eastern parts, where the former Hazleton mayor is well-known.

"I think it's wrong to go against what the people here have voted for", Barletta said, noting he is seeking support from Democrats and Independents who had voted for Trump.

Still, defeating Casey in November's election is a tall order.

Casey also sported almost $10 million in campaign funds late last month as opposed to Barletta's $1.3 million, the network added.

Republicans have already privately anxious that the divisive Barletta, like Trump an immigration hardliner, could hurt the rest of the GOP ticket in a state where more than a half-dozen House seats are up for grabs this cycle, a lot of them Democratic pickup opportunities.

Mr. Barletta, a four-term lawmaker and supporter of President Trump's tough immigration policies, easily defeated state Rep. Jim Christiana of Beaver County by a margin of 61 percent to 39 percent, with almost three-fourths of the votes counted. Barletta is among his first and staunchest supporters.

"It's all anti-Trump. In past years, they at least had an issue - the economy or unemployment or whatever - but now it's not so much like that", he said.

The president, a prolific user of Twitter, was silent on social media Tuesday night.

The Oregon GOP gubernatorial primary features 10 candidates who are vying for the chance to take on Democratic Gov. Kate Brown in the general election. "He's the kind of leader we need in the Senate to enact the America First agenda!"

"It will be a choice between a candidate who stands up to President Trump when he's wrong and a candidate who believes President Trump can do no wrong", Smith said.

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.

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