Ex-lawmaker to run for lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania

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FILE- In this Jan. 15, 2019, file photo an America flag flies at the Pennsylvania Capitol building in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A former state lawmaker and two-time congressional candidate from the Pittsburgh area said Monday that he will run for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor next year.

Rick Saccone, 63, will make a formal announcement on Sept. 10, he said.

Saccone drew attention Jan. 6 when he posted videos online from outside the U.S. Capitol that appeared to support the violent insurrection by supporters of then-President Donald Trump to prevent Congress from counting Electoral College votes to confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s victory last November.

It also appeared to support Trump’s pressure on Vice President Mike Pence, who presided over the session, to tip the results in Trump’s favor, although Pence’s role was strictly ceremonial.

Saccone said Monday that he has not had any run-in with law enforcement over his statements and insisted he knew of no violence storming of the Capitol until an Associated Press reporter called him when he was back at his bus, ready to leave.

Saccone served four terms in the state House of Representatives from Allegheny County before losing a special election to Congress and a Republican primary for another congressional seat in 2018.

He is a retired Air Force counterintelligence officer who served as a civilian adviser in Iraq.

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