Former vice president Joe Biden speaks at a campaign stop in Manchester, N.H., earlier this week. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)

Joe Biden announced Thursday that his presidential campaign headquarters will be in Philadelphia, setting up camp in a state that President Trump narrowly carried in 2016 and that will be key to any Democrat’s chances of prevailing next year.

The former vice president, who was born in Scranton, Pa., has signaled that Pennsylvania will be key to his election strategy. Biden held an early rally in Pittsburgh and has scheduled what is being billed as his “campaign kickoff” in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday.

“We’re proud to anchor our campaign in the birthplace of American democracy,” said Biden campaign manager Greg Schultz. “Philadelphia is a thriving city and a testament to the American spirit, built by the ingenuity and tenacity of ordinary people who did extraordinary things.”

Biden lived in Pennsylvania for 10 years before moving with his family to Delaware, a state he represented in the U.S. Senate for 36 years.

Pennsylvania was among the Rust Belt states carried by Trump in 2016, propelling him to the White House. He defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the state, 48.2 percent to 47.5 percent.