WASHINGTON, Pa.—Democrat Conor Lamb upset Republican Rick Saccone in the special election to fill a vacant House seat in Pennsylvania’s 18th District Mar. 13.
Lamb held a 627-vote lead after absentee ballots were counted in the heavily Republican district, which encompasses suburbs and rural areas south of Pittsburgh. He had strong support from labor unions, including the United Mine Workers Association and the United Steelworkers, while Saccone as a state House member voted for an unsuccessful bill to prohibit public-sector employers from deducting dues for unions’ political activities, and had also supported banning the union shop. Lamb, meanwhile, endorsed legislation to aid the Mine Workers’ pension fund. “Organized labor built Western Pennsylvania,” he said in his victory speech after midnight. “Tonight, they have reasserted their right to have a major part in our future.” Almost one-fourth of the district’s voters are active or retired union members. The election was to replace Rep. Tim Murphy, a staunch opponent of legal abortion who resigned last October after the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette revealed that he’d asked his mistress to get an abortion when she thought she was pregnant. Murphy, an often pro-labor Republican, had run unopposed in 2014 and 2016.