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Former UN Ambassador Bolton endorses Saccone for Congress

| Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, 5:00 p.m.
Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton
Former U.N. ambassador John Bolton

Former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton on Wednesday endorsed Rick Saccone for Congress and said his political action committee is giving Saccone $5,000.

Bolton, an attorney, served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under then-President George W. Bush. His political action committee, John Bolton PAC, has endorsed 24 conservative congressional candidates and spent $235,000 during the 2018 election cycle.

Bolton said he thought Saccone would help strengthen America's approach to national security and foreign policy issues. Saccone served as an Air Force counterintelligence officer in South Korea and as a civilian working in counterintelligence with the Army in Iraq.

He said he thought Saccone, if elected, would be a good candidate to serve on the House intelligence, foreign affairs or armed services committees.

“I'm looking for people who don't just think the right way, but because of their background, their personal experience, they understand emotionally as well as intellectually why you need a strong American foreign policy,” Bolton said, adding that he strongly supports the denuclearization of Iraq and North Korea.

Bolton is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative Washington, D.C., think tank, and a Fox News contributor. He has written columns for the Tribune-Review.

Saccone, 59, a state representative from Elizabeth Township, faces Democrat Conor Lamb, 33, a former Marine and federal prosecutor, in a March 13 special election. The election is being held to replace former U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned in October amid an extramarital scandal.

President Trump endorsed Saccone on Tuesday. In a video announcement, Lara Trump, the president's daughter-in-law, called Saccone a “respected veteran” who would support the president's agenda.

VoteVets.org, a progressive PAC supporting veterans, has endorsed Lamb.

The election is for the 18th Congressional District, representing parts of Allegheny, Washington, Westmoreland and Greene counties.

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676, wventeicher@tribweb.com or via Twitter @wesventeicher.

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