ShareThis Page
Conor Lamb, Rick Saccone ramping up campaigns in special U.S. House race |

Conor Lamb, Rick Saccone ramping up campaigns in special U.S. House race

Wesley Venteicher
| Tuesday, November 21, 2017 6:30 p.m
Republican state Rep. Rick Saccone and Democrat Conor Lamb, a former federal prosecutor, are running for Congress in a March 13 special election.

U.S. House candidates Conor Lamb and Rick Saccone say they plan to campaign aggressively through the holidays and winter to make their cases to voters before a March 13 special election.

Lamb, 33, a former federal prosecutor and Marine Corps veteran from Mt. Lebanon, won the Democratic nomination Sunday to run for the 18th Congressional District seat, which represents about 707,000 people in parts of Allegheny, Washington, Westmoreland and Greene counties. Saccone, 59, a state representative from Elizabeth Township, got the GOP nod the previous weekend.

The special election is being held to fill the seat vacated by former U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, a Republican from Upper St. Clair who resigned last month following revelations about an extramarital affair.

Since celebrating his nomination with an event at The Saloon in Mt. Lebanon, Lamb said he and his campaign have been working nonstop. By Tuesday, he said, he had met with other candidates who sought the Democratic nomination, union officials and state and local party representatives in an attempt to shore up their support.

Soon he’ll set his sights on knocking on would-be constituents’ doors to introduce himself, along with church appearances and public speaking events, he said. He said the “expeditionary mindset” he developed during his time in the military will drive his campaign approach.

“I plan to be on the road at all times, meeting people where they live,” he said.

Lamb, who is new to politics, left his job as an assistant U.S. attorney in Pittsburgh to campaign for the congressional seat.

Saccone said he was a political newcomer when he knocked on 18,000 doors during his successful campaign for state House in 2010.

He credits that legwork, sometimes adding up to six hours a day in the summer heat, for his win.

In addition to his legislative duties in Harrisburg, Saccone said he’s been attending community events and speaking in front of as many people as he can since winning the Republican nomination.

“We’re in full-bore campaign mode. We are out doing everything we can possibly do,” he said.

Saccone said his campaign message hasn’t changed since 2010. He said he’s still advocating for “smaller government, less government regulations, cutting taxes, cutting spending.”

Saccone teaches political science part-time at Latrobe’s Saint Vincent College and has written several books about the Korean peninsula. He spent much of a career in the Air Force stationed in South Korea.

Lamb identified his top issues as infrastructure, affordable health care and combating the opioid epidemic. He tackled drug-related crime as an attorney from 2014 to this year.

He called the opioid crisis, which killed about 4,600 Pennsylvanians in 2016, “a matter of life and death for people of my generation and their families,” adding, “I don’t look at it through a political lens. I look at it as a true threat.”

Neither candidate specified when they would start running TV ads. Lamb said he didn’t expect to run them until after the end of the year.

Lamb has hired campaign manager Abby Nassif Murphy. She said she’s worked on local, state and national political campaigns since 1999, including Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful presidential campaign last year.

Saccone hired Patrick Geho, who worked on the 2000 campaign of former U.S. Rep. Melissa Hart of Bradford Woods and served as a legislative director under former Govs. Tom Ridge and Tom Corbett.

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676, or via Twitter @wesventeicher.

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff reporter. You can contact Wes at 412-380-5676, or via Twitter .

Categories: Politics Election
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.