Saccone loses GOP primary comeback bid in Pa.
Republican State Sen. Guy Reschenthaler is projected to win the GOP primary for Pennsylvania’s 14th Congressional District, a victory that puts him in strong position to win a spot in the House of Representatives come November.
The result also deals another damaging blow to the political career of GOP state Rep. Rick Saccone, who had looked to this primary for redemption after an embarrassing loss in a closely watched special election just weeks ago.
With 97 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, Reschenthaler led Saccone by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent. Saccone gave a teary concession speech, telling the crowd at his election night party that “I don’t think we could have fought any harder,” according to Pittsburgh’s NPR affiliate WESA.
ADVERTISEMENTSaccone had bested Reschenthaler and was chosen by party activists as the GOP nominee for the recent 18th Congressional District special election. But Saccone ultimately lost the deep-red seat to Democrat Conor Lamb.
In the aftermath, Republicans lambasted Saccone as a weak candidate and openly mused about whether Reschenthaler would have fared better if he had won the nomination instead.
Reschenthaler built off of that sentiment to run again for the 14th District after new congressional boundaries drawn by the state Supreme Court went into effect. This time, with the decision in the hands of the voters instead of party insiders, he emerged victorious. Among his backers was former Rep. Tim MurphyTim MurphyBiden receives endorsements from three swing-district Democrats A federal abortion law might be needed Female Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations MORE (R-Pa.), whose resignation amid reports he asked a mistress to get an abortion triggered the March special election. Much of Murphy’s former district is now a part of the new 14th District.
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The state senator will be considered the heavy favorite in the district, which President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE won by almost 30 points in 2016.