The 65-year-old Barletta becomes the first prominent figure to enter the 2022 governor’s race.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republican Lou Barletta tells The Associated Press that he will run for governor of Pennsylvania.

The 65-year-old Barletta becomes the first prominent figure to enter the 2022 governor’s race.

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Barletta is a former Hazleton mayor and four-term member of Congress, and ran statewide in a 2018 loss to Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey.

Barletta said he would focus on boosting the state’s economy, but also aiming to overhaul Pennsylvania’s election law and fight illegal immigration.

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Barletta has another strength in a Republican primary: a relationship with former President Donald Trump.

Barletta served as Trump’s campaign co-chairman in Pennsylvania in 2016 before becoming one of Trump’s biggest allies on Capitol Hill.

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