By: Sean Guay
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Dr. Rick Saccone, a retired Air Force counterintelligence officer, entered the race for lieutenant governor in September 2021. Dr. Saccone previously served four terms as a lawmaker in the state House of Representatives from Allegheny County until 2018. He also taught Political Science and International Affairs for 21 years at St. Vincent College in Pennsylvania.
When asked to describe the significance of the role of lieutenant governor, Dr. Saccone told Harrisburg100, “The two top constitutional duties of LG are presiding over the Senate and Chair of the Board of Pardons. He also often chairs disaster committees with PEMA and other partners. But it is important to remember the LG takes over if the Governor is unable to continue, thats why it is important he be elected by the people.”
“I will use that statewide platform to pursue issues important to Pennsylvanians right now. I will use my efforts to ensure we never experience unnecessary mandates related to vaccines and will strongly advocate to ensure the poison of CRT is never taught in our public schools. I will advocate for the unborn and our precious Second Amendment. I will work hard to finish the job of school property tax reform which we partially addressed in 2017 with a Constitutional Amendment passed by the voters. I promise that the only flag that will hang from my balcony in Harrisburg is the AMERICAN flag.”
School property tax reform has been a priority of lawmakers for years in Pennsylvania, but opposition from school groups argue that the changes would hamstring local districts from being able to raise taxes to cover costs when state funding doesn’t keep pace with rising costs of education.
If elected, Dr. Saccone plans to expedite the ongoing efforts for property tax reform that include strategies to reduce or eliminate school property taxes.
Dr. Saccone was elected four times to the PA House of Representatives and ran for Congress in 2018. Before that he spent a career in the USAF as a Counterintelligence Officer and Special Agent, conducting felony criminal, fraud and counterintelligence investigations and operations worldwide.
Dr. Saccone spent most of his career assigned overseas, home based in South Korea but traveling throughout Asia. During a return assignment to Los Angeles Air Force Station, he worked with an anti-terrorist task force for the 1984 Olympics in LA. Following that he moved to Monterey and graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School with a M.A. in National Security Affairs and from the Defense Language Institute, studying Korean, before returning to Seoul. Dr. Saccone became the Chief of Counterintelligence for the USAF in Korea and worked on the counter terror task force for the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. He also Commanded a Special Investigative Detachment and, as the chief liaison officer in the national capital, worked closely with ten different foreign government agencies and as many U.S. agencies. He received several awards from the Korean and American governments and two Meritorious Service medals from the USAF. Along the way, he wrote scores of culture and travel articles for a local paper in Seoul and began writing books about the history, travel, and culture of South Korea to share his experiences with others. He appeared on the Korean episode ofthe Popular PBS show Full Circle with celebrity Michael Palin. He also taught English at several Korean institutes in his spare time.
After retiring from the USAF, Saccone stayed in South Korea to work as a TV news anchor on an English language station, and took several jobs working for Korean and American companies in Seoul and Central America before returning to the U.S. to begin work on his Ph.D. During this period, he was asked to represent an international organization in North Korea building nuclear power plants as part of the Agreed Framework negotiated under the Clinton Administration. As the only American living in North Korea at the time, he gained valuable diplomatic experience working and successfully negotiating with North Koreans, resulting in two books about that enigmatic country, including “Negotiating with North Korea,” and “Living with the Enemy: Inside North Korea.”
Dr. Saccone returned to complete his Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh and continue teaching International Affairs and Political Science a total of 21 years at St Vincent College. During that time, the war in Iraq began and Saccone decided to take his turn offering his years of interrogation and counterintelligence experience. Assigned to the U.S. Army as a civilian, he served in Baghdad and in the hotspot of Mosul, as Senior Counterintelligence Agent identifying, capturing and interrogating insurgents.
Since returning from Iraq, Saccone has enjoyed an academic fellowship to Israel as a Fellow for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy, a Fulbright-Hays summer scholarship to Egypt studying history and politics, and an education and research scholarship to Africa. He has traveled to 79 countries and authored ten books on North and South Korea, with his eighth book on Iraq, and his tenth book entitled “Our Godly Heritage: From William Penn to Donald Trump” documents the Godly heritage of our founding and our founding fathers.
He has written numerous articles concerning international politics and culture published in major newspapers and magazines. He is a member of the VFW, AMVETS, American Legion, and a life member of the NRA.
Dr. Saccone now spends his time traveling and writing about politics, life, and our Godly heritage. He has recently opened the Constitution & Godly Heritage Discovery Center in Elizabeth Pa, celebrating our founding and the founders as a FREE Resource to the community.
Dr. Saccone has been married to Yong Saccone for 42 years and has two children, Nick & Matthew, both graduates of the Virginia Military Institute as Civil Engineers. Nick is currently a Lt Col in the USAF, and Matt is a Captain.