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National Journal: Barletta Mulling a Run for PA8

Republicans want to flip Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District in Northeast Pennsylvania.

Will a former Congressman and close Trump ally be their candidate in 2020?

According to National Journal, former Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Luzerne) is considering a bid in the 8th District against incumbent Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna).  

Cartwright won his most recent reelection bid over GOP challenger John Chrin by nearly 10 points, in a district that voted for President Donald Trump in 2016 over Sec. Hillary Clinton by close to double digits. While Trump was on the ballot in 2016, Cartwright fended off a challenge from Republican candidate Matt Connolly by securing a 7 point victory.

Since starting his fourth term in Congress, Cartwright was selected to serve as one of the three co-chairs for the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, which they deem as the “messaging arm of the caucus.” Cartwright is also one of the early Pennsylvania Congressmen who endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden’s bid for the White House.

Barletta, who served four terms in Congress, was unsuccessful in his challenge against incumbent Sen. Bob Casey this past November. Casey notched a double digit victory over Barletta in the statewide race, but Barletta only lost by 5 points in the 8th district boundaries.

Since his defeat in November, Barletta hasn’t exactly shied away from the political discussion. He was rumored to be a candidate for the 12th District, vacated by former Rep. Tom Marino (R-Lycoming), but ultimately decided against running in that race. Barletta appeared on stage at Trump’s rally in Montoursville the day before the special election in the 12th Congressional District, boosting the Trump agenda. Last week, Vice President Mike Pence lauded the former Congressman in an address to a Pennsylvania Republican Party dinner for his focus on illegal immigration “long before many people were”.

In addition to the NRCC targeting the 8th District in 2020, two pro Trump super PACs aiming to increase voter registration for the President prior to next year’s election also detailed their focus of trying to flip the 8th district as well.

PoliticsPA is seeking comment from the Cartwright campaign.

17 Responses

  1. Such mean-spirited shots against Barletta or anyone cheapens the value of a communications forum like this. It is disappointing to see such shallow and vindictive. It’s not about someone’s false teeth.

    1. Vince Phillips

      “cheapens the value of a communications forum like this” ???

      Have you read the posts here?

      All the anonymous posters cheapen the value. Most are stooges for the party or various candidates. Once it a while you get an actual insider with some whistle-blower type knowledge, or maybe a lawyer who clarifies some legal points.

  2. Casey repeated Kanjorski’s win pattern of 2008 by only winning the Lackawanna and Monroe County portions of the district. Casey only lost the Luzerne part this past November by just under three points. If Cartwright keeps that loss in Luzerne small enough, he probably wins again.

  3. This is a huge relief for the Dems who might have worried about the GOP running a good candidate.

  4. Lou Barletta seems personable and handled the Chris Matthews Town Hall a few weeks back quite well. The point is Trump and not Lou. The fact is that Lou is so intertwined with Trump it is as if they are inseparable twins. Lou running for Congress is like Trump is running for the office. Trump has declined in popularity in Pa. Lou also had gained initial success catching Paul Kanjorski at the end of his tenure but all that is changed. Lou running in 2020 would be all uphill for him for sure.

  5. Lou can’t win that seat. Even those who voted for Trump vs. Hillary will vote for the Dem this time as none of Trump’s promises have been kept. If Biden is the Democratic nominee, it will be a slaughter against Bartletta. It’s a bad idea for him to run.

  6. On behalf of the District, Trump’s “main supporter” Lou Barletta will fare badly in 2020. Trump will not be paving the way for anyone on his ticket and will struggle.

  7. Cartwright is beatable. He’s too liberal, but that’s never been exposed well enough. The R’s would be smart to run a female against him. If Barletta runs, he has a chance but he better get many experienced fighters his campaign team, not a bunch of green kids from the R Party who were never in a really ugly race before. That race would be ugly.

    1. MissonW…You are completely wrong. This is the problem with dogma you are so blind to what is right before your very eyes. MissonW…the facts are that like Wolf, like Casey, like the sweep of the congressional seats in Lehigh Valley that went Dem..Trump is dominant and changes the landscape to be about him and no one else matters. Barletta is tied into Trump to be “Trump Part II” and this is not going to work in 2020…It’s not about gender candidates, nor about “young kids” running an R campaign…it’s about Trump and the fact is that PA 8 looks good for Dems due to Trump…sorry to give you a splash of reality.

    1. Yes, me too/ Barletta would guarantee a Dem victory. Dumbest ass in the district would make a great GOP candidate.

  8. They should just run Lou’s fake teeth in PA-8 and see how they fair instead. Those chompers just might have a chance without him.

  9. This guy should be a used-car salesman. I’m sure he’d have better luck in that field.

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