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Jun. 10—SHAMOKIN — Former U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta, now a Republican Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate, told about 60 people inside a Coal Township restaurant he was happy to be back in the area after serving in Washington for eight years and that he hopes to serve them again, but this time in Harrisburg.
Barletta, also a former mayor of Hazleton, Luzerne County, made two appearances in the Valley Thursday, the first was at Brewser's SportsGrille.
"It's great to get to visit this way again," Barletta said. "It's also nice to see people who I have met over the years and haven't been able to see for a while.
Barletta told supporters he wanted to go to Harrisburg and fight for Pennsylvanians after the state changed since the pandemic, he said.
Barletta said his trip to the Valley was because he wanted to just be "out and about" and meet people.
"To see all the faces I have seen for many years and those who I am meeting for the first time is what makes the day special to me," he said.
Barletta announced his bid for governor last month and has since been traveling the state on almost a daily basis, he said.
"Congressman Barletta has always been there for our area over the years," Northumberland County Commissioner Sam Schiccatano said. "I have always been a supporter of his and I will continue to support him during his campaign for governor."
Barletta spent most of his hour stop at Brewser's talking with people before thanking them for coming to see him. Barletta then traveled to Postage Plus, in Shamokin, to meet with constituents along Market Street.
"It's always nice to see Lou," John Waniski, of Ashland, said. "I have concerns for our state and I believe Mr. Barletta is the right man for the job."
Barletta is joined in a growing field of candidates, which include Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale, Pittsburgh attorney Jason Richey, Former Corry Mayor Jason Monn and Dr. Nche Zama, a cardiothoracic surgeon, from East Stroudsburg.
State Sen. Scott Martin, R-Lancaster, also announced this week he will form an exploratory committee to run for the Republican nomination for governor in 2022.
Martin is a second-term senator and former county commissioner who hails from a Republican-leaning district and chairs the Education Committee.
Barletta said he plans to stop in Sunbury in the coming weeks.