A Western Pennsylvania Republican said he thinks its strategically savvy to get his name circulating now as a way to challenge his potential incumbent, Democratic contender U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, Jr.
Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny) said he has officially filed to run against either incumbent candidate Casey, or whomever runs on the Democratic ticket during the 2018 U.S. Senatorial election. There will be 33 contested seats up for grabs in that chamber. Senators serve six-year terms. Casey is currently serving his second term.
“I haven’t heard of anyone else who has filed; a few names have been floated,” Saccone said in a phone interview with FOX43. “I’m focused on my own campaign.”
Saccone, who is serving his fourth term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, acknowledged he needs to build his name recognition. Casey, Jr. followed in his father’s political footsteps. Former Democratic Gov. Robert P. Casey was the 42nd Governor of Pennsylvania from 1987 to 1995, after which he had served as Auditor General. Pennsylvania voters are very familiar with the Casey name.
Aside from that challenge, Saccone said he believes he has a solid resume that is more beneficial for Pennsylvanians.
“I think I bring a lot to the table,” Saccone said. “I’m bringing experiences that the current Senator doesn’t have. He’s disconnected from the people.”
As he begins his bid for higher office, he said he and his wife of 37 years, Yong, have canvassed Pennsylvania forging relationships with like-minded groups. Two groups, Saccone said, where he feels the support is mutual, include, pro-Second Amendment and veterans’ groups.
“I’m basically running for U.S. Senate for the same reason I ran for state office. I looked at the direction of the state, and what the incumbent was doing, and they aren’t representing the people,” Saccone said.
Saccone has sat on the following Pennsylvania House committees: Judiciary, State Government, Children & Youth, and Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness. Based on his interactions from speaking at nearly 70 statewide events, he said his stance remains in favor of smaller government, a rebuilt military, and support for veterans, among several other issues.
“I want to be a champion for smaller government,” Saccone said.
First elected to the House in November 2010, he was reelected in 2012, 2014 and 2016. According to his legislative bio, he served for more than a decade as a United States Air Force Counterintelligence and Special Agent, in which he conducted felony, criminal, fraud and counterintelligence investigations and operations worldwide. His bio can be found here.