HAZLETON, Pa. -- The U.S. Senate race between the Democrat from Scranton and the Republican from Hazleton is on.
Republican Lou Barletta will be facing off against Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Casey in November.
Barletta, of Hazleton, defeated his primary challenger James Christiana to earn the GOP nomination.
At The Pines Eatery in downtown Hazleton, an energetic Barletta declared victory at 10:06 p.m. One staffer admitted it was timed specifically so Barletta could time his speech for Fox News nationwide.
The Republican congressman touted the accomplishments of President Trump and said Senator Casey used to be a do-nothing senator until Casey opposed Trump's tax cut and court and cabinet nominations.
After his speech, Newswatch 16 asked the congressman about the large fundraising gap, where he trails Senator Casey by a 10-1 margin.
"There is going to be a flood of outside money in this race, and the candidate who has the most money doesn’t always win. Just ask Hillary Clinton," Barletta said.
Barletta gained nationwide notoriety as mayor of Hazleton for his 2006 efforts to crack down on illegal immigrants by penalizing landlords who rented to them and businesses who hired them.
In 2010, Barletta was elected to represent the 11th District in the U.S. House of Representatives and has been reelected three times.
His opponent in November, Casey, of Scranton, has served in the U.S. Senate since 2006.
As for Senator Casey, he put out a statement saying this is a race between a U.S. senator who stands up to President Trump when he is wrong versus a candidate who thinks President Trump can do no wrong.
And so, the candidates from Luzerne and Lackawanna counties make President Donald Trump the focal point of the senate race that begins tonight.