Friends Hope Barletta Will Be Chosen for Donald Trump Cabinet Post

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HAZLETON -- Congressman Lou Barletta will have to wait another day to meet with President-elect Donald Trump about a possible cabinet position.

The meeting, which was originally scheduled for Monday, was postponed.

There is a lot of anticipation in Hazleton, the hometown of the congressman from the 11th district, about the chance he could be appointed Secretary of Transportation.

Barletta is well known in Hazleton from his time as mayor. And while for some he remains a controversial figure due to his views on immigration, many people we spoke with are excited about the possibility of someone from Hazleton becoming a member of president's cabinet.

Hazleton City Council President Jack Mundie has known Barletta since the congressman was a teenager playing baseball. Yellowed clippings from the 1970s hang on his office walls.

"I would say it is a grand slam for him and the area," Mundie said.

Over the decades, the two have been both political rivals and allies. Now, Mundie is excited by the possibility of Barletta becoming the US Secretary of Transportation.

"I hope Donald Trump chooses him. I think it would be great for the area, great for him. I think it's a feather in our cap, too," Mundie added.

Mundie believes Barletta's experience in both his family's construction business and in Congress make him qualified for the post.

"We need help with our roads and bridges, and I think Lou Barletta could do that."

Local political talk show host Tiffany Cloud is also rooting for Barletta. She agrees his experience in his family's construction business makes him qualified for the post.

"If Donald Trump were looking for another bureaucrat to run things the way it's always been run, he could select someone to do that. One of the things that Congressman Barletta brings to the table is that business experience," said Tiffany Cloud, WYLN-TV.

On the streets of Hazleton, where Barletta's views on immigration have been controversial, not everyone we met is thrilled at the prospect.

At Barletta's office in Hazleton, staffers are not saying much about the congressman's meeting with the president-elect, but on Terrace Boulevard, Barletta's neighbors are pulling for him to get the nod.

"I could say I know him. He is a celebrity. I support him greatly, and I know he would do well and be great for Pennsylvania," said Dave Peel of Hazleton.

Not everyone we met is ready to jump on the Barletta bandwagon, however.

"It's not going to be forever. It's only four years, maybe eight," said Janior Capellan of Hazleton.


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