Congressman Conor Lamb
By Irish Echo Staff
Congressman Conor Lamb has won re-election to the House of Representatives in his Western Pennsylvania district, the state's 17th.
Lamb, a Democrat, defeated his Republican challenger Sean Parnell, though the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported that Parnell refused to concede alleging vote counting "irregularities." The Lamb campaign has rejected this.
The close results in the 17th District came amid high turnout following a roughly yearlong campaign that reflected the dividing lines of the presidential race, the Post Gazette reported.
Some of the 17th district reaches into Allegheny County, which featured strongly in presidential count coverage.
The Post Gazette additionally reported: "Mr. Lamb, a 36-year-old Marine Corps veteran and former federal prosecutor, swept into office two years ago during a surge of progressive energy following Mr. Trump’s 2016 election.
"Mr. Lamb flipped a Republican-held seat by a razor-thin margin in a special election in March 2018, then coasted to a 12-point victory that November in the 17th District, which had been favorably redrawn for Democrats after a gerrymandering challenge. Democrats took control of the House of Representatives that year.
"Mr. Lamb’s seat was a major target in Republicans’ mission to take back control of the House in 2020. As early as February 2019, the National Republican Congressional Committee listed the 17th District among the U.S. House seats it believed it could flip into GOP hands this year.
"Republicans put forth Mr. Parnell, a 39-year-old Afghanistan combat veteran with a Purple Heart who closely aligned his campaign — from his rhetoric to his policies — with Mr. Trump.
"Mr. Parnell has refused to respond to media requests in recent weeks and did not hold any events around Election Day. He has instead taken to Twitter to post and retweet unfounded allegations of voter fraud.
"Mr. Lamb, meanwhile, was an early and vocal supporter of Mr. Biden’s campaign. Mr. Biden even stumped for Mr. Lamb in March 2018, during the special election campaign, saying Mr. Lamb 'reminds me of my son Beau,' the Delaware attorney general who died of cancer in 2015.
"Mr. Lamb was a key surrogate for the Biden campaign in Western Pennsylvania, serving as one of nine members of a panel that wrote the candidate’s climate change platform. As Mr. Trump and other Republicans sought to argue Mr. Biden supported a ban on fracking, Mr. Lamb would repeatedly point out that was a false claim."
Lamb took part in a pre-election Pittsburgh-based "Zoom Rally" for Joe Biden.
Lamb’s Irish roots mostly go back to counties Galway and Mayo. He captained the Pittsburgh Celtics Gaelic Football Club from 2006 to 2008.
He has made several visits to Ireland, including a University of Pennsylvania rugby team tour. His uncle, Jim Lamb, is president of the Irish Institute of Pittsburgh and Honorary Irish Consul in the city.