Democrats from Allegheny, Greene, Washington, and Westmoreland counties yesterday chose 33-year-old former federal prosecutor and Marine Corps veteran, Conor Lamb.
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Conor Lamb, a 33-year-old Marine veteran and assistant U.S. attorney, won the backing of local Democrats here in a special election to replace a Republican who resigned in disgrace over a sex scandal.
“There will be no doubt who represents the families of this district,” Lamb said after securing the Democratic Party’s nomination on the second ballot of a crowded party convention. “It’s going to be us.”
Lamb, a member of a prominent Allegheny County political family making his first bid for office, won the nomination over six rivals at a Sunday party convention.
In a speech before balloting began at the Democratic convention, Lamb said he wasn’t concerned about an unfavorable map.
“You know what? I don’t care,” he said. “I’m not worried about their maps or their manipulations. I’m worried about our people.”
Lamb criticized the Republican tax plan passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday, contending it would benefit the top 1 percent of income-earners at the expense of middle-class Americans. If elected, Lamb said he’d focus on jobs and infrastructure, and in his remarks, he blasted GOP lawmakers for failing to pass an infrastructure program.
“My mission is to expose their hypocrisy and put an end to it once and for all,” Lamb said before balloting began.
Democratic leaders said 554 county committee members from Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District gathered at a local high school on Sunday to select their candidate in a nominating convention. Lamb won on the second ballot.
“This unprecedented convention was held to enable the State Party to hear the voices of the people who live in the 18th Congressional District, and we are thrilled with the outcome,” Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman Marcel L. Groen said in a statement.
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Lamb cast himself Sunday as a foil to what he called the hypocrisy of elected Republicans, who he says are failing to fulfill campaign promises.
“For some reason, (Tim) Murphy and his crowd seem to think that we all have amnesia,” he said. “But we do not. We remember that they promised us jobs. And they can’t even introduce an infrastructure bill, the one thing that would create jobs here tomorrow. We remember that they promised us tax cuts, and they delivered tax cuts for the 1 percent. We remember that they promised us health care, and every single time we turn around they’re trying to take health care away,” he said.
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Democrats touted their process as more open than the one employed by Republicans the previous weekend. Mr. Saccone was picked by over 250 “conferees” selected by party leaders behind closed doors at a golf club.
“The other side does not quite pick their people the way we’re picking ours,” Mr. Groen told attendees. “This is our attempt to empower you.” And the race would be closely watched as a bellwether for next year’s elections, he said. “We will send a message that the time for divisiveness, the time for not telling the truth, the time for coming up with facts that don’t exist is over.”
Party members were choosing from a diverse slate of candidates including a pro-life county commissioner, an ex-Assistant Secretary for Veterans Affairs, a former head of the state’s teacher’s union, and an ER physician who campaigned on single-payer insurance. […]
In his speech to the nominating convention, Lamb, a 33-year old former assistant United States Attorney in western Pennsylvania, hammered Washington Republicans for their tax proposal, cutting healthcare amid an opioid crisis, and failing to pass an infrastructure bill.
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“We’re inclusive. All of us,” said Linda Andrews of Washington, chairman of the Washington County Democratic Party, who placed Lamb’s name in nomination.
She expected at least five ballots. “He’s an outsider, he was not involved in politics,” she said of Lamb. “He was a (member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps). And for you Marines, he was a Marine. He’s got it all.”