PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s all over in the old 18th Congressional District; although both candidates, Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone, are off and running again — just not against each other.
After counting absentee ballots, military ballots, provisional ballots and the like, Lamb led Saccone by three-tenths of one percent — enough for Saccone to call Lamb to concede the race.
In a statement, Saccone said:
“I am honored and humbled to have worked with so many talented and committed supporters. Their tireless dedication to this campaign inspired and motivated me each and every day.
“While Yong and I are certainly disappointed with the outcome, I remain resolute in supporting the voices of southwestern Pennsylvania voters. I will continue this fight as a candidate in the 14th congressional district.”
Lamb responded publicly in a tweet, saying, “Just got off the phone with my opponent, Rick Saccone, who congratulated me and graciously conceded last Tuesday’s election. I congratulate Mr. Saccone for a close, hard-fought race and wish him the best.”
Just got off the phone with my opponent, @RickSaccone4PA, who congratulated me & graciously conceded last Tuesday's election. I congratulate Mr. Saccone for a close, hard-fought race & wish him the best.
Ready to be sworn in & get to work for the people of #PA18.
— Conor Lamb (@ConorLambPA) March 21, 2018
On May 15, Saccone is running for the Republican nomination in the new 14th Congressional District against Pennsylvania Sen. Guy Reschenthaler, which includes much of the old 18th, but without Allegheny County.
Saccone says the new 14th, which is more Republican, is a comfortable fit.
“All these people know me. I’m around here all the time. This is the district, basically, I grew up in, served in the legislature. Happy to be out here,” he said.
Lamb may have a tougher job — representing the old 18th while running for reelection in the new 17th district against incumbent Republican Congressman Keith Rothfus.
“I really haven’t thought much about Congressman Rothfus yet,” said Lamb. “It’s only been a week since I was finishing up with Rep. Saccone.”
A fair point.
That election against Rothfus is not until next November.
And first Lamb must defeat two Democrats, attorney Beth Tarasi, of Sewickley, and financial consultant Ray Linsenmayer, of McCandless, in the May 15 primary.
Lamb will be running in a district that is 80 percent new to him.
As for the district that just elected him, sources tell KDKA political editor Jon Delano that Lamb will be sworn in as congressman in Washington on April 10.