HARRISBURG, PA. (Erie News Now) – 2022 is the year Pennsylvanians will elect their next Governor.
Governor Tom Wolf is unable to run for another term, opening the door for several hopeful candidates.
One of those hopeful candidates is former Republican Mayor and Congressman; Lou Barletta.
Barletta was elected to Congress in 2010 and represented Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District until 2018. He ran for U.S. Senate in 2018 against Democratic incumbent Senator Bob Casey, but lost in the general election.
Before Congress, he served as a city council member, and then ultimately mayor of Hazleton, Pennsylvania from 2000 to 2010.
Barletta believes lockdowns across the country from the pandemic will give Republicans an edge in 2022.
“I think we’re going to see many of the once blue states turning red because of their loss of freedoms,” said Barletta.
One of Barletta’s top priorities is something he’s been addressing since his time as Mayor, illegal immigration.
“The crisis at the border right now, as we’re watching people come from over 140 countries, we have no idea who they are, we have no idea of their background,” said Barletta. “People have a right to know who’s coming into their state, I mean, this is a public safety issue, it’s a public health issue,” he added.
Barletta also looks to address rising crime and gun violence by supporting law enforcement and providing more resources.
“And make sure we give them the tools that they need to protect us and make our neighborhoods safer,” said Barletta.
States around the country are working to boost their economies and recover from the ongoing pandemic.
Barletta says, the answer for Pennsylvania is energy.
“Our future is energy. I mean, we could be exporting energy to the entire world. Instead, we’re begging, countries that hate us for energy, when Pennsylvania is the answer,” said Barletta. “I will take us out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, lower our taxes, and let the entire world know that Pennsylvania is open for business,” said Barletta.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a regional partnership between Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states that strives to reduce carbon emissions.
Barletta says the commonwealth needs to attract businesses for a prosperous future.
“When businesses leave Pennsylvania, as they are, our children and grandchildren leave with them,” said Barletta.
Barletta will square off with a large field of Republican candidates in the May 17 primary election.