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Trump expected to campaign in 18th District for Saccone

Joe Napsha
| Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, 1:03 a.m.
Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump speaks during a rally held inside of an Atlantic Aviation hanger at the Pittsburgh International Airport on June 11, 2016.
Nate Smallwood | Trib Total Media
Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump speaks during a rally held inside of an Atlantic Aviation hanger at the Pittsburgh International Airport on June 11, 2016.

President Trump is expected to come to Western Pennsylvania next week to campaign for Republican Rick Saccone, who is running in a special election to replace former congressman Tim Murphy in the 18th Congressional District, according to Politico, an online political newsletter.

Saccone, who represents the 39th District in the state House, will face Democrat Connor Lamb, a former federal prosecutor, in the March 13 special election. The winner of that election will be able to serve the remainder of Murphy's term, which ends Dec. 31. The May primary will determine the nominees for the each party in the November election.

Carrie Budoff Brown, editor of Politico, tweeted that Trump would be in Western Pennsylvania on Thursday. Details of where he will be were not available, but Politico's story said Trump would visit a manufacturing plant in the Pittsburgh region.

The White House website did not have any information about a visit to the Pittsburgh region next week, but news of his visit spread through social media.

Saccone did tweet a link to Politico's story on his Twitter account.

Trump's visit to boost Saccone's campaign in a district that Murphy has won easily in recent elections and Trump won overwhelmingly over Democrat Hillary Clinton, indicates how important the special election has become. Vice President Mike Pence previously planned a campaign swing through the district to boost Saccone's chances of victory.

The Washington Times last week ran a story saying that the Republicans did not want to nationalize the local congressional race. It quoted two veteran Pennsylvania political analysts, G. Terry Madonna and Michael L. Young.

"In this mix, Republican Saccone's perceived ultra conservatism, coupled with Lambs' perceived moderation, and Trump's unquestioned unpopularity, could nationalize the race — nationalizing it may bring a Democratic victory," Madonna and Young said.

Joe Napsha is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-5252 or jnapsha@tribweb.com.

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