Republican Lou Barletta, the mayor of Hazelton, Pa., is getting close to announcing a third attempt to oust Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski, according to a Republican source who has been following the impending campaign. That announcement could come by the end of the week, the source said.
Barletta gave Kanjorski a close fight in 2008, and though he ended up losing 52 percent to 48 percent; six years earlier, Kanjorski won by a margin of 56 percent to 42 percent.
Barletta’s entrance into the race makes this a top-tier contest for Republicans, who are hoping to pick up a couple Pennsylvania seats in the 2010 cycle.
National Republicans see Barletta as their best choice to defeat Kanjorski in northeast Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District. “Kanjorski is feeling pressure on both sides — with a primary on his left and potentially a looming general election battle,” Tony Mazzola, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a written statement.