CLEARFIELD – A small crowd of just over 30 people turned out for a rally at the Grice Museum in Clearfield on Wednesday evening to meet Lou Barletta, who is running against Bob Casey for his seat in the U.S. Senate.
The Barletta campaign wasn’t able to give better notice about the rally, hence the lower than hoped for turnout.
Barletta, who currently serves as representative of the Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District, gave a little bit of his own personal history.
He is the youngest of four boys in a larger extended family. After attending college and trying out for a professional baseball team, he started his own business and grew it into the largest of its kind in Pennsylvania, and sixth largest in the United States.
Barletta is well-known for his stance against illegal aliens in the city of Hazleton, where he was mayor. He noted that while the lawsuit against the city ordinance went to the Supreme Court, which declined to hear it and sent it back to the third district, where it was defeated, a similar law was adopted in Arizona and upheld and an identical law also upheld in Nebraska.
Barletta added that, to fund the legal fight, he started a defense fund and received contributions from all 50 states.
After that, Barletta chose to run for the 11th Congressional Seat and was elected in 2010. He said he found in Congress that too many people were more concerned with keeping their seat than actually working to get things done.
He was named chairman of a sub-committee for Transportation and Infrastructure and immediately set to work cutting the amount of money spent on leases for federal offices around the country, saving $3.8 billion.
Barletta said he was one of the first members of Congress to endorse Donald Trump. He said it was time for someone who wasn’t a politician to run and his colleagues didn’t understand then how angry and frustrated people were with business as usual in Washington.
But why is he running for Senate?
Barletta explained how one evening he received a phone call from a staff member telling him the president wanted to talk to him.
And President Trump asked him to run for the Senate seat currently held by incumbent Bob Casey. He said he looked at the number of Senate votes came down to one member and wondered what would happen if that one member was him.
He said he isn’t worried about support from President Trump. He said the stock market is up, unemployment numbers are at record lows, the GDP and consumer confidence are high and these are things the people want.
Barletta added that Casey doesn’t want those things, that the Senator has changed his politics since his election in 1996, moving from a moderate pro-life, pro-Second Amendment position to a far left position.
Barletta emphasized the importance of this election, to keep the momentum of the 2016 election going.
“Our job isn’t done,” he said, emphasizing the need for everyone to get out and not only talk to their friends and neighbors about the importance of this election, but also the importance of voting in November. “There’s so much at stake here.”