Tom Wolf, a Democrat, is the current governor of Pennsylvania. He's term-limited and is now allowed to run again for another term in office. The next slated gubernatorial election is scheduled for 2022.

Thus far, no Democrat has officially entered the race to succeed Wolf. Although the Times Leader reports that Pennsylvania's Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro is expected to enter the race. The Republican side of things has been a bit more active. And the most prominent name yet has thrown his hat into the ring.

Barletta formally announces his candidacy

Lou Barletta is a candidate in the Republican primary for governor of Pennsylvania, as noted by The Hill. He becomes the third Republican to announced their entry into the race. But by far, he would seem to be the candidate with the biggest name recognition among the group.

Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Commissioner Joe Gale is one member of Barletta's competition in the primary. Former Corry, Pennsylvania Mayor Jason Monn is the other. Other possible candidates include U.S. Representatives Mike Kelly and Dan Meuser.

In his last try in a statewide election, Barletta fared well in the primary. But much less so in the general election. In 2018, he was the Republican nominee in Pennsylvania's U.S.

Senate race that year. He would lose handily in the general election to Democratic incumbent Bob Casey Jr..

A major contributing factor in his loss could well have been the unpopularity of President Donald Trump. Whom Barletta had closely associated himself with. He was even one of the first members of Congress to endorse his presidential campaign.

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Barletta's endorsement of Trump likely came as a surprise to many. He'd previously gained a reputation as being a moderate.

Combating and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to be a key matter in the gubernatorial race. Voting rights and other civil rights issues could also become areas of intense focus as well.

Lou Barletta is a former member of the United States House of Representatives

Barletta's political career began in Hazleton, located in eastern Pennsylvania. He lost his first race for the city council there in 1996. But the second attempt in 1998 resulted in success. The next year, he was elected as the mayor of Hazleton.

As mayor, Barletta would become rather popular. After winning re-election in 2003, he was nominated by both the Republican and Democratic Parties in 2007. Not surprisingly, he won re-election that year as well. While mayor, Barletta received a Presidential appointment to the United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities.

Barletta's first two campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives were also unsuccessful.

He was losing in 2002 and 2008 to Democratic incumbent Paul Kanjorski for the seat from Pennsylvania's 11th District. In a third match between the two in 2010, Lou Barletta prevailed. He was re-elected three times before choosing not to run for the seat again.