Yong Saccone, the wife of Rick Saccone, the Republican running for a House seat in a closely watched election in Pennsylvania, frequently appears at her husband’s side on the campaign trail. Sometimes the Saccones wear matching American flag shirts, and his wife is often seen wearing flag garb.
Saccone, 60, is running against a 33-year-old prosecutor and Marine Corps captain named Conor Lamb. Democrats are targeting the race in an area that President Donald Trump won by 20 points, and the polls show that Lamb has moved in striking distance in an area that usually goes Republican.
Trump campaigned for Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania. “Rick is a great guy. We need more Republicans to continue our already successful agenda!” Trump tweeted.
With absentee ballots still being counted, Lamb led Saccone by a mere 641 votes in the morning after the election, and there was talk that Saccone might run in the newly redrawn district because the 18th will cease to exist by November anyway.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Rick Saccone Met Yong in South Korea & Says They Are Rarely Away From Each Other
According to his campaign website, Rick Saccone met his wife, Yong, “while working in South Korea. They have been faithful to each other for 38 years. Yong is almost always at his side, as Rick rarely attends an event without her.” Photos on Facebook show Yong on the campaign trail with her husband.
Like his opponent, Conor Lamb, Saccone served in the U.S. military. He was a “counter-intelligence officer for the U.S. Air Force, defending against commandos and espionage from North Korea. Rick was on the counter-terror task forces for two Olympic Games: 1984 in Los Angeles and 1988 in Seoul, South Korea,” his website bio reports. Rick Saccone has served in the Pennsylvania state legislature since 2010.
According to The Independent, Saccone “served as a diplomat to North Korea from 2000 to 2001 during the administration of President George W Bush and was the only US citizen living in Pyongyang at the time.” He also served as a professor.
2. Saccone & His Wife Have Two Sons Who Are in the U.S. Air Force
Rick and Yong Saccone have two children – both sons. Both sons followed in their father’s military footsteps. “Rick and Yong are the proud parents of two sons, Nick and Matthew, who both graduated from the Virginia Military Institute as civil engineers and are now serving as officers in the U.S. Air Force,” the campaign biography says.
The Saccones are also grandparents, judging from photos on Yong’s Facebook page.
On Facebook, Nick Saccone wrote that he lives in Osan, Kyonggi-Do, Korea. He recently posted photos of himself with Vice President Mike Pence.
3. The Saccones Have Been Married for Almost Four Decades
The marriage between Rick Saccone and his wife Yong is a long-lasting one. “They have been faithful to each other for 38 years,” the campaign website reports. In February 2018 that turned into 39 years, with Rick Saccone writing on Facebook, “Happy birthday to my lovely wife of 39 years.”
“Even Yong’s weapons are red white and blue,” Rick Saccone wrote on Facebook along with a photo of his wife holding a gun.
On LinkedIn, Yong Saccone defines herself as “Retired aerobics instructor at Retired and enjoying Life.”
4. Some Have Jokingly Called Yong Saccone a ‘Defacto Lawmaker’
Yong Saccone is at her husband’s side so often it’s become a running joke. “Saccone routinely eats breakfasts, lunches, appetizers and dinners that lobbyists pay for in Harrisburg. And, Saccone rarely dines alone,” reports MCall.com. “He brings his wife, Yong, to the free meals. In fact, Yong Saccone accompanies her husband so often in Harrisburg and on the campaign trail, House Republicans jokingly refer to her as a defacto lawmaker.”
Yong’s personal Facebook page is filled photos of her family and her husband’s campaign. The Saccone’s are sometimes photographed in matching flag shirts.
5. Rick Saccone Was Praised for Holding an Umbrella Over His Wife’s Head
The Washington County Republican party posted a photo showing Rick Saccone holding an American flag umbrella over Yong’s head as it rained.
“Today, after Lou Barletta’s breakfast, Rick Saccone walked his wife, Yong Saccone, to the car. It was raining, and he held the umbrella over her head. He didn’t know we were going to take this photo, there was no one in the parking lot, and he doesn’t even know we are going to post this,” the party wrote on Facebook.
“Rick Saccone is a great man with strong morals and knows how to respect a woman.”