The Democratic and Republican race is heating up in the 18th Congressional District of southwestern Pennsylvania. Former Congressman Tim Murphy (R) resigned his seat in October 2017 due to improprieties he committed. The Democrats are supporting 33-year-old Conor Lamb and the Republicans are supporting 59-year-old Rich Saccone. The Republicans are receiving campaign backing from President Donald Trump who won the 18th Districts’ votes by a wide margin of 20 percentage points.
In support of Conor Lamb is the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) which is buying campaign ads on TV. The ads are running continuously from January 30, 2018 to March 13th, which is the election day. A Conor Lamb win for the Democrats would mean that the party has a firm footing in this district which has been an industrial Democratic town in past national elections. The reason the historically Democratic 18th District voted for Donald Trump was in hopes that he would stand on his campaign promises to make positive changes for them.
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Conor Lamb is a former assistant U.S. attorney, a Marine veteran, and an accomplished speaker whose campaign stumps have drawn large crowds. Mr. Lamb has the grassroot support of the coal and steel labor unions like the AFL-CIO according to fec.gov. Conor Lamb says that he is running for the underserved in the district, which is why he is not accepting corporate monies. Lamb is also campaigning on a stronger economic message, pro-union issues, and against the Trump Administration tax cuts that were recently passed. Rich Saccone’s campaign message is for pro-life choices and even though he says that he supports the area’s labor unions, Saccone has also backed union restrictive resolutions.
Conor Lamb is also receiving campaign endorsements from End Citizens United which is a grassroots group that believes in campaign finance reform to end corporate support in political campaigns in both the House and the Senate. Just to clarify the labor union’s involvement in support of Lamb, he is not accepting union contributions from union executives, instead his union funding is coming straight from the working men and women, the rank-and-file members.
The campaign funding by the DCCC is backed by minimal amounts as are other contributions which are trickling in. The End Citizens United group is raising campaign support for Conor Lamb through their natural grassroots members and donors. End Citizens United has a membership of more than three million donors, with over 3,000 members located in Pennsylvania’s 18th district and over 300,000 members who contribute as little as $12.00 to support candidates.