WASHINGTON — Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale launched a run for Congress on Monday, filing to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Perry in what could become one of the marquee races in the state.
Perry, a four-term congressman aligned with the hard-right Freedom Caucus, narrowly survived in his reelection bid last year, winning by less than 3 percentage points, after his Harrisburg-based district was redrawn and became more politically balanced.
Now he is one of national Democrats’ top targets, and could face a challenger who has run and won statewide.
“Folks here at home are getting ripped off by people in Washington,” DePasquale, 48, said in a statement announcing his candidacy. “Wall Street is doing well, but the economy isn’t working for everyone. Congress has made it worse by passing tax cuts that favor the wealthy while doing little to help middle-class people and our seniors. Washington has rigged the system against us, and I will fight to change that.”
He pointed to his record as auditor general, saying he had exposed more than $1 billion in waste, fraud, and abuse. DePasquale, of York, has been auditor general since 2013.
The Pennsylvania Republican Party accused DePasquale of using his current office to build his profile at taxpayer expense.
“DePasquale has been a fraud and a failure as auditor general,” state party spokesperson Jason Gottesman said in a statement Monday.