One former Republican congressman from Hazleton is hoping to send another GOP Hazleton native to the halls of Congress.
According to a release on Monday afternoon, Jim Bognet, a former Trump administration appointee who is attempting to unseat Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) in the 8th Congressional District, has named former Congressman Lou Barletta as the Honorary Chairman of his Congressional Campaign.
“I am honored to have Congressman Barletta join our fight to take back Pennsylvania’s Eighth District for the people. The leadership and service Congressman Barletta showed during his time in Congress will be a true asset to our campaign,” Bognet said in a statement. “No one has fought harder for our District than our friend Lou, and we could not be more excited to have his guidance and support.”
Bognet previously worked on Barletta’s congressional campaign.
Barletta described Bognet as a “strong conservative voice” for the 8th District and someone who will “proudly work” with President Trump.
“I am thrilled to be joining Jim Bognet in his campaign to be a strong conservative voice for the people of this District in Congress. Jim learned hard work at his family construction business, growing up pouring concrete and digging ditches,” Barletta said in a statement. “We need someone in Washington who will stand up to China, defend our police from the radical ‘defund’ movement, and fight illegal immigration. Jim will proudly work with President Trump and deliver for our District in supporting his America First agenda.”
Cartwright’s campaign responded to this announcement by saying that the Democratic incumbent has a “proven record,” of fighting for northeastern Pennsylvanians.
“Matt Cartwright has always put the interests of all hardworking northeastern Pennsylvanians first, in good times and in bad,” said Matt Slavoski, Cartwright for Congress Communications Director. “We’ll continue talking about how Matt is helping his constituents navigate the coronavirus crisis, his proven record of protecting access to health care, and his work to get northeastern Pennsylvania’s economy running again.”
While Barletta will be assisting Bognet’s quest to unseat Cartwright, there was a few months in 2019 that the former Congressman was reportedly entertaining a bid for the 8th District.
Barletta officially ruled out a bid for the office in September 2019, and announced that he was shifting his focus on his new “boutique consulting firm, Pioneer Strategies,” and helping support candidates that share his stance on undocumented immigration and supporting the building of a wall at the United States southern border through his “Leaders Only Unite,” LOU PAC.
Barletta represented the old 11th District for 8 years prior to his unsuccessful bid for Senate in 2018.
Bognet just fought through a tough six candidate primary to secure the GOP nomination, narrowly edging out Teddy Daniels, a former police officer and wounded combat Army veteran, and Earl Granville, a decorated war veteran and Veterans’ advocate who was endorsed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
Cartwright is currently serving his fourth term in Congress, most recently besting Republican John Chrin by just over 9 points. In 2016, Trump carried these boundaries by close to 10 points, while Cartwright fended off Republican Matt Connolly by a 7.6 point margin.
The Cook Political Report currently has the seat held by Cartwright listed as a “Toss-Up” for 2020.
Honorary Chairman ?
That will look good on his resume.
What does it pay? How many hours/week? How many staffers?
Cook Report is wrong. Biden is from Scranton and there will be a big wave vote for him in Cartwright District. Biden will bring CartWright along. Bad year for R’s. These DC Political newsletters like Cook sometimes lack commonsense.And miss the painfully obvious.
Honorary puppet master. Bognet is a bought and paid for Barletta hack who will do the bidding of those who pull his strings. I didn’t agree 100% with Teddy Daniels’ positions but I know he wasn’t a sell out or a political puppet. I guess Lou couldn’t buy him either.
Cartwright has so much baggage but Bognet will be too fearful to really campaign.
Whatever Pelosi wants, supports illegals even with hundreds of thousands of citizens out of work, stood with protestors instead of condemning the violence and looting.
Sadly, Bognet doesn’t have the toughness to beat an incumbent who does nothing to represent his area.
One bright spot: Barletta back. The next Governor, the only R who can win. Toomey would get beat badly by any D.
Barletta is back? What do you think that he’ll be doing as honorary chair? Hitting the pavement? Making calls? Getting him money? Odds are that picture is the limit to his involvement.
Barletta is the laziest and most overrated politician in NEPA.
What exactly could Lou do for Bognet anyway? His old district was a small part of the Cartwright District and Lou has not represented Scranton/W-B in a long time since he beat Paul Kanjorski. You cannot ignore the wave coming out of Scranton for Biden and this is a HUGE deal. A President of the United States was born and had lived for part of his childhood in Scranton. It means something. Clearly, Cartwright will benefit. I enjoy political newsletters as much as anyone else but they can often be written by political science majors who never worked a campaign and never went door to door or worked a poll on Election Day. These “Political experts” overvalue data and completely overlook the human element. How any “political expert” can wave away a President being born in a modest working class town is a mystery to me. Bottom line: Joe Biden makes it advantage Cartwright.
Oh yeah because Barletta is such a winner…with Lou’s help maybe Bognet only loses by 10.
Lou who? Hahaha. Bognet who? Teddy Daniels is now the de facto leader of the Republican Party in NEPA.
If Bognet had even a half of a brain he would’ve asked Teddy Daniels to be the honorary chair. He won’t beat Cartwright without him.
So Barletta is basically just continuing what he shamelessly did the entire primary—help his RINO carpetbagger family friend.
Stupid move by Bognet. He needs to coalesce the Marsicano, Daniels and Granville supporters. They all know Barletta (who said he would not interfere in the primary) interfered, and karma won’t be fun. Lackawanna County will never embrace Bognet. He’s gonna lose and you can all congratulate Barletta on another L.
He’d probably have an anxiety attack just dialing Teddy’s number.