Top Trump ally announces Senate run in Pennsylvania

Rep. Lou BarlettaLouis (Lou) James BarlettaGOP Senate hopefuls race to catch up with Dems The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2018 Lawmakers push prevention measures ahead of new wildfire season 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 CaseyNow is the time to modernize the OTC monograph system Dems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination Overnight Energy: Trump NASA pick advances after drama | White House office to investigate Pruitt's soundproof booth | 170 lawmakers call for Pruitt to resign MORE (D-Pa.).

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