PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s been one of the most visible races for Congress in this region.
With $6.3 million dollars raised, Conor Lamb and Sean Parnell may set a local record for money spent, and they’re using that money to attack each other in a race that may go down to the wire.
“It’s a very competitive district. It’s full of people who are pretty independent-minded,” U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, a Mt. Lebanon Democrat, told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Tuesday.
Lamb is counting on that independence for re-election in the 17th Congressional District that voted for Donald Trump by 2.6 percent four years ago.
“If President Trump wins Pennsylvania and President Trump wins PA 17, then I win PA 17,” said Parnell.
Parnell is a strong supporter of Pres. Trump in a district that stretches through Allegheny County and Beaver County. Parnell says Lamb pretends to be a moderate when he’s not.
“Said he would be an independent, moderate voice for western Pennsylvania but votes with Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and ‘the Squad’ 90 percent of the time,” says Parnell.
Lamb rejects the label that he’s a Nancy Pelosi liberal.
“I don’t characterize myself as anything. It’s always them that are doing that. That’s the point I’m trying to make,” said Lamb. “They throw around these labels like that, that have nothing to do with votes I’ve taken.”
Lamb attacks Parnell’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act and protecting those with pre-existing conditions.
“The Affordable Care Act protects people with pre-existing conditions. I support the Affordable Care Act. He does not. Now, if he had a plan to replace it that also supported people with pre-existing conditions, that would be a whole other matter. But he doesn’t have that plan and neither does President Trump,” says Lamb.
Parnell deflects the charge by noting that he was wounded in Afghanistan.
“I’m like a walking pre-existing condition. So I am committed to taking care of people with pre-existing conditions, but his ads have said the opposite, and it’s just not true,” says Parnell.
Voters in the 17th Congressional decide their congressman in just seven days.