Top Trump ally announces Senate run in Pennsylvania

Rep. Lou BarlettaLouis (Lou) James BarlettaDemocrats expand House map after election victories GOP Senate hopefuls reluctant to back McConnell as leader Trump gives Barletta edge in crowded Pa. primary MORE (R-Pa.) early Tuesday announced that he is running for Senate.

In a video posted to Twitter, Barletta said he had a "big announcement."

"After talking to Mary Grace and our family, many people across Pennsylvania and saying a few prayers, I've decided to run for the United States Senate," he said in the video.

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"I don't see running for the Senate to represent Pennsylvania as an opportunity. I see it as a responsibility."

Barletta, who has served in the House since 2011, was an early backer of President Trump.

He enters a primary race that so far includes two Pennsylvania Republican state representatives.

The winner of the GOP primary will ultimately face off against incumbent Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyThe GOP tax bill will be a health care burden on American families Democrats scramble to contain Franken fallout  GOP campaign committees call on Democrats to return Franken donations MORE (D-Pa.).

The Associated Press previously reported that Trump had been pushing Barletta, an outspoken opponent of illegal immigration, to enter the race.