Trump congratulates Barletta, Fischer on GOP Senate primary victories

Trump congratulates Barletta, Fischer on GOP Senate primary victories


WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump congratulated Rep. Lou Barletta (Pa.) and Sen. Debbie Fischer (Neb.) Wednesday for their victories in Tuesday evening’s GOP Senate primaries.

National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Executive Director Chris Hansen offered his congratulations to Barletta as well.

“Congratulations to Lou Barletta on his victory in this evening’s primary,” Hansen said in a statement. “Lou has established himself as a tireless advocate for Pennsylvania families, and his strong record of success will undoubtedly lead him to victory over [Democratic Senator] Bob Casey and his history of flip-flopping on the issues that matter to Pennsylvanians.”

Barletta defeated State Rep. Jim Christiana 63.1 percent to 36.9 percent, according to the Associated Press.

Barletta is a staunch opponent of illegal immigration and enjoys the support of Trump. Barletta has served in Congress since 2011. Prior to joining the lower chamber Barletta served more than a decade as mayor of Hazelton.

Barletta faces an uphill challenge in the general election against Sen. Bob Casey (D).

Casey is a moderate-pro-life Democrat and is favorably regarded on both sides of aisle. Casey has raised considerably more money than Barletta. Casey has an advantage in name recognition as an incumbent senator and the son of a former Pennsylvania governor.

The race could determine which party controls the Senate next year.

Pennsylvania is considered a crucial swing state. Trump won Pennsylvania by less than one percentage point in the 2016 presidential election. Trump was the first Republican to win Pennsylvania since 1988.

Democrats are expected to benefit from a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that withdrew many of the state’s congressional districts. The court ruled that several Pennsylvania districts were gerrymandered in favor of Republicans and therefore violated the state’s constitution.

Three female Democratic congressional candidates won primaries on Tuesday. They will compete for seats held by Republican men who are not seeking re-election. Two face male opponents in the general election. Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation is comprised entirely of men. Pennsylvania is one of the few states in which a woman has not served as governor or U.S. Senator.

Nebraska held its GOP Senate primary on Tuesday.  Sen. Deb Fischer defeated four challengers. Fischer garnered 75.8 percent of the vote, according to the Associated Press.

Fischer will face Lincoln City Councilwoman Jane Raybould, a Democrat, in the general election.

Nebraska is a reliably Republican state. Lyndon Johnson was the last Democrat to carry Nebraska in a presidential election, in 1964. Though Nebraska has elected conservative-leaning Democrats to the Senate in the past decade, pundits nevertheless expect Fischer to be easily re-elected.


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