Pennsylvania GOP candidate bets on Trump: ‘I’m ready to be his wingman’

Amid a contentious, neck-to-neck race for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, Republican candidate Rick Saccone hopes that throwing his support behind President Trump -- and, more importantly, Trump’s manufacturing-friendly policies -- could win him the first special election of 2018.

Saccone, 60, is running against 33-year-old Democrat Conor Lamb on March 13 for a congressional seat that opened after Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, an avid pro-life lawmaker, resigned amid reports that he’d asked his mistress to get an abortion when he believed she was pregnant.

Now, in addition to parlaying his decades-long experience in government as a key to success, Saccone is hitching his wagon to Trump’s. He’s a vocal supporter of Trump’s plan to implement tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum, and the Republicans’ 2017 Tax Act, which, perhaps most notably, slashed the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%.

“I’m coming to you from Steel City,” Saccone told FOX Business’ David Asman. “This is very important here, I’ve always supported the steel industry, and I support our steelworkers. Our steelworkers can compete with anyone in the world, as long as the playing field is level.”

Lamb, who’s pitching himself as a moderate Democrat who would vote to get rid of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, has also voiced his support for the tariffs. The federal prosecutor is receiving backing from notable Democrats, including former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump will be campaigning on behalf of Saccone, a state representative, in Moon Township, Pennsylvania Saturday evening. The president has previously offered support for the religious conservative.

“Will be going to Pennsylvania today in order to give my total support to RICK SACCONE, running for Congress in a Special Election (March 13). Rick is a great guy. We need more Republicans to continue our already successful agenda!” he tweeted in mid-January.

Trump, who ran on a pro-manufacturing platform, narrowly carried the Keystone State in the 2016 presidential election, but lost Allegheny County -- the second biggest in the state -- to Hillary Clinton.

“President Trump is just trying to restore some balance to the playing field,” Saccone said. “And I want to help him. I’m ready to go down there and be his wingman.”