HARRISBURG (KDKA) - A former Pennsylvania state representative says a run for lieutenant governor next year is on his radar.
Rick Saccone, who lost a close congressional election to Conor Lamb in 2018, wants to make a political comeback. Saccone, the Trump-endorsed candidate, lost by only 700 votes to Lamb.
Now the former U.S. Air Force counterintelligence officer, turned professor, turned elected official is looking to 2022.
"I'm sitting home and watching our state in a mess again and I'm looking at what's going on out there, and I just can't sit by and let that happen," Saccone told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Tuesday.
Saccone, once one of the most conservative members of the state House, has been traveling the state gauging opinion among fellow Republicans for a run for Lieutenant Governor.
"The response has been really great," he says. "I've had a lot of great feedback. People still invite me to come speak. I have been as far over as Bucks County. We were up at the Rally on the Rock this weekend in Bradford County."
Saccone, who calls himself Trump before Trump, says issues are what motivate his run for public office.
"Those key issues that are so important to Pennsylvania – whether it's taxes, whether it's smaller government, whether it's taking care of our veterans, rebuilding our military, protecting our small businesses, and protecting the sanctity of life, enhancing our Second Amendment rights – all these things are things I have always believed in and the people of Pennsylvania believe in," he says.
This year, the Ph.D. academic with an Asian wife and bi-racial children has another issue: critical race theory.
"I don't look at people based on the color of their skin or their ethnicity, and we shouldn't be doing that," says Saccone. "Yet critical race theory is forcing us to look at people in that regard. We got to stop that. It's dangerous."
Saccone was at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 to stop the electoral vote count when others broke into the Capitol building.
At the time, Saccone posted video on Facebook with the caption, "We are storming the Capitol. Our vanguard has broken through the barricades. We will save this nation."
Delano: "Do you think this will be a problem for you in this election if you run as lieutenant governor?"
Saccone: "I'm sure my opponents are going to make something out of it. I think every thinking person knows I do a lot of hyperbole and a lot of drama on my Facebook posts. I was speaking like that in that sense. We were far from the Capitol when I made that post. We had no idea what was going on the other side of the Capitol. Our side of the Capitol was a great event."
Saccone says he does not condone the violence that day and would not have posted his comments had he known what was going on inside the building.
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