PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- He's not yet a household name, but U.S. Senate candidate Rick Saccone may be best known for his campaign to bring back the motto – "In God We Trust" -- to public buildings and schools.
"Praise the Lord. I am so glad to be here," Saccone, a Pennsylvania representative from the Mon Valley, told a rally back then.
Referring to the state Capitol, he noted, "Just take a look around this building. It's full of 50 references to God and the Scripture and the Bible. It's everywhere."
Now Saccone, a conservative Republican, wants to replace U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat who, says Saccone, is now more liberal than moderate.
"Bob Casey has become defiant on that and is moving further to the left," Saccone told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Wednesday.
Saccone says Pennsylvanians who elected Donald Trump need a senator who will back a new agenda, which includes, "smaller government, lower taxes, reduce government regulations, repeal and replace Obamacare, conservative Supreme Court justices, rebuilding our military, protecting our veterans, enhancing our Second Amendment rights, protecting our unborn, fighting terrorism, eliminating and annihilating ISIS."
A career U.S. Air Force man before retiring, earning a Ph.D. and then teaching full-time at St. Vincent College before winning a seat in the state House in 2010, Saccone says his Christian faith is important but not determinative.
"I look at all the evidence on every issue. That's how I make my decisions. Do I have a worldview that is Biblical? Yes, but I look at all the evidence, always have."
And Saccone certainly does not mind the comparison with Donald Trump.
"I was Trump before there was Trump," Saccone told Delano. "You know I ran in 2010 on these same issues. I sometimes say, I'm Trump without the money."
But it will take a lot of money to defeat an incumbent like Bob Casey.
Saccone may have other hurdles to overcome.
He believes that some in the Republican establishment may try to stop him from winning the nomination, just as they tried to stop Donald Trump.
But, so far, he's the only announced Republican in the race.
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