Running for the United States Senate is the last thing Lou Barletta ever expected to do.
As a kid, Lou hated politics. Lou grew up working in his family’s road construction business, but dreamed of playing centerfield for the New York Yankees. The first in his family to attend college, Lou took a break from studying Elementary Education at Bloomsburg State College (now Bloomsburg University) to tryout for the Cincinnati Reds, but was sent home when the coaches figured out that he could not hit a curve ball.
Lou returned to school before re-joining his family in road construction. One day, Lou got a card in the mail advertising a kit for striping parking lots. For $29.95, Lou and his wife, Mary Grace, sent away for the materials and started a small line-painting business. In five years, they turned that little company into the largest of its kind in Pennsylvania, and when they sold the company, it was the sixth largest of its kind in the nation.
Frustrated with the direction that local politicians were taking his hometown of Hazleton, Lou successfully ran for City Council before being elected mayor in 1999, in a city where Democrats significantly outnumbered Republicans.
As mayor, Lou inherited a $1.2 million budget deficit. In two years, Lou turned that shortfall into a $500,000 surplus. In 2004, the White House appointed Lou to represent the United States on the United Nations Advisory Committee of Local Authorities, and in 2008, the Pennsylvania State Mayor’s Association voted Lou Pennsylvania’s Mayor of the Year.
Lou gained national attention in 2006 when Lou drafted, introduced, and signed the first local ordinance in the nation cracking down on illegal immigration. Lou’s law has served as a blueprint for other communities across the United States facing problems with illegal immigration.
In 2010, Lou defeated a 28-year incumbent Democrat to represent Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District. Lou currently serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management and has saved the taxpayers nearly $4 billion by cutting waste and reducing the size of federal real estate; the Committee on Education and the Workforce, where he has been nationally recognized for his bipartisan work in support of afterschool programs; and the Homeland Security Committee, where he has continued to lead the fight to secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws.
A father of four daughters and proud grandfather of eight grandkids, Lou is running for the United States Senate to make sure that the same American Dream he experienced is alive for the next generations of Americans.