Bar­letta rules out run for Congress in 2020

The Morning Call - - LOCAL/STATE - By Ha­zle­ton Stan­dard-Speaker

HA­ZLE­TON — Lou Bar­letta an­nounced Tues­day that he will not be a can­di­date for Congress next year.

Bar­letta, 63, of Ha­zle­ton, Luzerne County, said in a news re­lease that he made the de­ci­sion “af­ter much thought and many con­ver­sa­tions with my fam­ily.”

“My eight years in Congress are an ex­pe­ri­ence I will al­ways be grate­ful for,” he said. “There was no greater honor than serv­ing the res­i­dents of Penn­syl­va­nia in Congress and the res­i­dents of Ha­zle­ton as their mayor ...

“I will never close the door on any fu­ture op­por­tu­nity but for right now my fo­cus is on start­ing my new chap­ter.”

That new chap­ter is a bou­tique con­sult­ing firm, Pi­o­neer Strate­gies, which he opened a few months ago. The firm will fo­cus pri­mar­ily on po­lit­i­cal campaigns and gov­ern­ment af­fairs.

“I started as a small busi­ness­man with my wife Mary Grace and en­joyed every sec­ond of grow­ing our line paint­ing business, started with only $29.95, into the sixth largest in the coun­try,” he said. “Re­flect­ing on that pe­riod of my life and my time as a pub­lic ser­vant I see that there’s a great op­por­tu­nity to merge my ar­eas of ex­per­tise.”

Bar­letta de­cided not to run for re­elec­tion to the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in 2018 and in­stead waged an un­suc­cess­ful cam­paign to re­place Bob Casey in the U.S. Se­nate.

He said his many dif­fi­cult races give him a unique per­spec­tive from which to ad­vise a can­di­date. He also has seen how frus­trat­ing and dif­fi­cult work­ing with the gov­ern­ment can be for pri­vate in­di­vid­u­als as both a small business owner and a mem­ber of Congress, he said.

“The goal of my firm is to use the knowl­edge I’ve gained through my ex­pe­ri­ences to help oth­ers nav­i­gate through their jour­ney,” he said.

Bar­letta is­sued the re­lease through his re­vived and re­fo­cused Lead­ers Only Unite po­lit­i­cal ac­tion com­mit­tee. He said last month that LOUPAC would con­cen­trate on en­sur­ing the na­tion se­cures its border with Mex­ico, in­clud­ing build­ing a wall along the border.

In June, the Na­tional Jour­nal in Washington, D.C., re­ported Bar­letta was weigh­ing a bid to rep­re­sent the 8th Con­gres­sional District, which meant he would have to take on in­cum­bent Demo­crat Matt Cartwright. The two had de­vel­oped a friend­ship as House col­leagues for six years.

Bar­letta said in re­sponse that he was “in a happy place right now” and “not think­ing about run­ning.”


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