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Saccone files paperwork for U.S. Senate run

February 11, 2017 GMT

State Rep. Rick Saccone, R-Elizabeth, elected to the state Legislature in 2010, is the first Republican to file paperwork with the Federal Election Commission for a possible run against U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat.Saccone, 58, or any other major-party candidate, must first gain a nomination in the Pennsylvania primary in May 2018.His committee, “Patriots4Saccone,” is headquartered at his Elizabeth Township home. Vice chairman is Saccone’s wife, Yong; treasurer is Viktoriya Nikolaevna, also listed as Viktoriya Grice; and assistant treasurer is John F. DeLallo Jr. of Pittsburgh.Saccone represents Mon Valley-area communities in Allegheny and Washington counties.While in the U.S. Air Force, he served in South Korea, where he was chief of counterintelligence in Seoul, and he was part of a counterterrorism team that helped protect American athletes attending the 1988 Olympics. After his retirement from the Air Force, he was a news anchor on a South Korean English-language TV channel.Saccone holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of “Negotiating with North Korea” and “Living with the Enemy: Inside North Korea.“Although Saccone had retired from the Air Force by the time the Iraq War began in 2003, but he signed up for a year as a contract civilian assigned to the U.S. Army in Baghdad and Mosul, identifying, capturing and interrogating insurgents. He was in Iraq from 2004 to 2005 during a leave from St. Vincent College, whose website lists him among adjunct faculty and visiting professors at the Latrobe, Westmoreland County, Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government.Some of his work there is still regarded as classified, but he discusses his year there in his most recent book, “The Unseen War in Iraq: Insurgents in the Shadows.“As a legislator, Saccone has supported a “Year of the Bible” resolution and a measure asking that “In God We Trust” be placed in every public school in the commonwealth. He supports pension reform, the privatization of the state’s liquor stores, local input about where natural gas drilling takes place and a photo identification requirement for voters.Casey, 56, the senior senator from Pennsylvania, was elected in 2006. U.S. senators are elected to six-year terms.