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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP/KDKA) — A four-term congressman who is a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump has won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.

U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta had paid little attention to his Republican rival, state Rep. Jim Christiana, during the primary campaign. Instead, he focused his attacks on the candidate he is looking to unseat in the fall, two-term Democratic Sen. Bob Casey.

Barletta is a former small-city mayor who first got national notice for attempting to pass local laws to combat illegal immigration.

lou barletta Staunch Trump Supporter Barletta Wins GOP Nomination To Take On Sen. Casey

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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Barletta, of Luzerne County, was the party’s endorsed candidate and co-chair of President Trump’s 2016 campaign.

“I support the President’s agenda,” says Barletta.

Trump asked Barletta to run for Senate and is expected to campaign for him.

Barletta’s campaign released this statement:

“I’m honored by the outpouring of support from Republican voters across Pennsylvania. The contrast between Senator Casey and me could not be clearer. I’ve been a blue collar worker, a blue collar mayor, and a blue collar congressman who fights for the American worker, stands tough against illegal immigration, and keeps our families safe. Bob Casey has resisted, rejected, and obstructed the president’s agenda at every turn. This election is about the direction of Pennsylvania and our country. We cannot turn back to the failed Obama policies that hurt our workers and put our families at risk. As your next senator, I will always put Pennsylvania before Washington. I believe in term limits, and Bob Casey’s 12 years in the Senate are up.”

Christiana, of Beaver County, had said the time has come for young conservatives.

“They’re tired of the same old guard and the same cast of characters who run for reelection every year,” says Christiana.

Casey is the son of a former Pennsylvania governor and is among 10 Democratic senators seeking re-election in states won by Trump.

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party released this statement:

“Congressman Lou Barletta has built his long political career on spreading fear, dividing communities, and scapegoating immigrants. He’s spent his time in Congress voting in lockstep with Paul Ryan’s agenda of slashing taxes for large corporations and the wealthy while attacking programs Pennsylvanians depend on, like Medicare and Social Security. Barletta championed efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would have ended protections for those with pre-existing conditions, forced seniors to pay an age tax for care, and sent out-of-pocket health care costs skyrocketing. But most of all, Barletta has made it clear that if elected to the Senate, he would put Donald Trump’s interests ahead of the people of Pennsylvania. That is unacceptable.

“In Lou Barletta, Pennsylvania Republicans have joined Rick Santorum’s campaign team with Rick Saccone’s message. On Election Day, Barletta will join them in defeat.”

(TM and © Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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