CANONSBURG, PA – Democrat Conor Lamb declared victory early Wednesday morning in his razor-tight bid for a Pittsburgh-area House special election, although the race hasn’t yet been called.
“It took a little longer than we thought, but we did it. You did it,” Lamb told supporters at his election night party shortly before 1 a.m. , after he was introduced as “congressman-elect.”
“We followed what I learned in the Marines – leave no one behind. We went everywhere, we talked to everyone, we invited everyone in.”
Lamb’s campaign apparently believes that Republican Rick Saccone does not have a path to victory in those remaining ballots, leading to the decision to claim victory
Saccone promised earlier in the night to press, with his campaign telling MSNBC shortly after Lamb’s remarks that they will not concede at this point. Media outlets have also not yet called the race.
As of 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, Lamb leads by 579 votes, with a few thousand absentee ballots left to count, largely from GOP-leaning areas.
The razor-thin margin is yet another shocking moment in this special election, which had initially been seen as a GOP cakewalk but that has trended in the Democratic direction in recent weeks.
Republicans sunk more than $10 million into the district to boost Saccone, sending top surrogates like Trump to the district. But Lamb walked a fine line in the conservative district, bucking the national party on some key issues and rallying labor to his side.
Lamb devoted a significant portion of his victory speech to thanking union members, a group that had been seen as key to Lamb’s campaign.
“Side by side with us at each step of the way were the men and women in organized labor,” he said.
“Organized labor built Western Pennsylvania…Tonight , they have reasserted their right to have a major part in our future.”
And while he did not mention Trump’s name, he made it clear he would seek cooperation with the president, who remains more popular in this district than national averages suggest.
“I’ll work on the problems our people face, secure their jobs and pensions, protect their families. And I will work with anyone to do that,” he said.