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Ex-federal prosecutor seeks Trump backing in governor’s race

July 13, 2021 GMT
FILE- In this Friday, July 12, 2019 file photo U.S. Attorney William McSwain pauses during a news conference at the Lancaster County Courthouse in Lancaster, Pa. McSwain, the top federal prosecutor in Philadelphia appointed by Donald Trump has written to the former president to seek his endorsement in a crowded Republican primary race to run for governor in next year's election. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma, File)
FILE- In this Friday, July 12, 2019 file photo U.S. Attorney William McSwain pauses during a news conference at the Lancaster County Courthouse in Lancaster, Pa. McSwain, the top federal prosecutor in Philadelphia appointed by Donald Trump has written to the former president to seek his endorsement in a crowded Republican primary race to run for governor in next year's election. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The top federal prosecutor in Philadelphia appointed by Donald Trump has written to the former president to seek his endorsement in a crowded Republican primary race to run for governor in next year’s election.

William McSwain’s letter, dated Friday, was released Monday night by Trump even before McSwain has publicly declared his candidacy.

McSwain has told Republicans in Pennsylvania that he is serious about running, and makes his intentions plain in the letter. He also makes the claim that he is uniquely positioned to beat Democrat Josh Shapiro, the state’s two-term attorney general who has said he plans to run for governor.

“I will be the Republican candidate for Governor with the best chance to win the general election in November 2022,” McSwain wrote. He goes on to say that “I would be honored to have your support” and “I hope to see you soon.”

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McSwain’s campaign confirmed the authenticity of the letter. McSwain started a fundraising committee after returning to private practice in January.

Among those who have declared their candidacy is Lou Barletta, the former four-term congressman who was the party’s nominee for U.S. Senate in 2018 before he lost to Democrat Bob Casey, and Charlie Gerow, who runs a communications and marketing firm in Harrisburg and is vice chairman of the American Conservative Union.