Pennsylvania: Source Says Barletta ‘Very Likely’ to Run Again

Posted October 26, 2009 at 5:57pm

Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta (R) is “very likely— to challenge Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D) for a third time, according to a well-placed Republican source.

Barletta, who came within 4 points of defeating Kanjorski in 2008, told a local newspaper last week that he was debating whether to make another bid for the seat.

“I’m considering it,— Barletta said in the interview with the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader. “But I haven’t made any decisions.—

Barletta became nationally recognized for enacting anti-illegal-immigrant ordinances in his small town. He ran against Kanjorski in 2002 as well, but he was not favored to win in that race. Public polls showed Barletta leading Kanjorski up until Election Day in 2008, when the Congressman won in what many political experts considered an upset.

Kanjorski already has one opponent: Lackawanna County Commissioner Corey O’Brien announced earlier this month that he planned to challenge the Congressman in the Democratic primary.

Kanjorski reported having about $808,000 in the bank at the end of September. Barletta’s campaign account from his 2008 bid shows he is $263,000 in debt, and O’Brien has yet to file a campaign finance report.