PENNSYLVANIA — This morning, Pennsylvania Republicans’ “super MAGA Trump” primary for governor got its first major candidate — original Trump sycophant and former Congressman Lou Barletta. In a sign of what’s to come, Barletta launched his campaign parroting Donald Trump’s dangerous lies and conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, even suggesting that the election was “stolen.”

Barletta was one of the first members of Congress to embrace Donald Trump in 2016, and he became one of his “biggest allies on Capitol Hill.” Barletta has proven that there is no Trumpian litmus test too extreme for him — from opposing reproductive rights and repealing the Affordable Care Act in Washington, to repeating Trump’s false claims of voter fraud and continuing to spread lies about the 2020 election. Just last week, Barletta appeared on former Trump political strategist Steve Bannon’s podcast, repeating the false claims that Pennsylvania’s election “was a buffet of irregularities” and that Pennsylvania “made it actually even easier for dead people to vote.”

“From parroting Donald Trump’s lies about the election to embracing his far-right agenda, Lou Barletta is running a campaign defined by Trumpian litmus tests and dangerous conspiracy theories,” said Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesman Brendan Welch. “In Washington, Barletta’s extreme agenda and loyalty to Trump hurt Pennsylvanians, and we can’t afford that in Harrisburg. Our communities deserve leaders who look forward and offer solutions to the challenges they face every day — but they won’t find that from the Republican field of Trump sycophants like Lou Barletta who care more about Mar-a-Lago than Pennsylvania’s working families.” 

Pennsylvania’s “super MAGA Trump” primary is just getting started, but Barletta is far from the last Trump loyalist expected to enter the race. Big Lie champion Doug Mastriano held a fundraiser this weekend with former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, despite an ongoing federal investigation into Giuliani’s lobbying work, and former Trump-appointee Bill McSwain refused to say whether he believes the results of the 2020 election were valid last week.