The former campaign manager for U.S. Representative Leonard Lance of New Jersey’s seventh congressional district is joining the Pennsylvania arm of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign. Political operative Bill Killion will serve as the Southeast Pennsylvania Regional Field Director.
Killion helped Lance, a moderate Republican who has tacked right in recent years, fend off a primary challenge from his longtime Tea Party nemesis David Larsen earlier this year. That victory was due in part to opposition research that showed Larsen sitting out the 1980 and 1984 presidential elections — a blow for a campaign that had blasted Lance as insufficiently Reaganite.
Trump will need that kind of savvy to make inroads in Pennsylvania, a one-time swing state that has gone to the Democratic candidate for president in every election since 1992. Trump supporters are hoping that the Keystone State will put him over the edge in November if he also wins Florida and Ohio while holding onto North Carolina for the Republicans.
Disclosure: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the publisher of PolitickerNJ and Observer Media.