- The Washington Times
Saturday, August 7, 2021

Rep. Conor Lamb entered the Pennsylvania Senate race on Friday, becoming the latest Democrat vying to replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.

Mr. Lamb portrayed the race as a fight to save democracy, attacking Republicans on their support for former President Donald Trump and claims about election fraud.

“I believe this is the most important Senate seat in the country. We have to build on our majority,” Mr. Lamb said in a video.

Mr. Toomey is retiring after two terms. The race is expected to be among the most widely watched, as it is likely to be indicative of which party may control the Senate in 2023.

Mr. Lamb, who was first elected in 2018, joins a crowded field of Democratic contenders, including state Lieutenant Gov. John Fetterman, as well as several other state and local officials.

A former federal prosecutor and U.S. Marine, Mr. Lamb made national headlines in 2018 after he upset a Trump-backed candidate in a special election. He represents Pennsylvania’s 17th District, which includes several Pittsburgh suburbs.

The three-term lawmaker has advocated for Democrats to strengthen their appeal to White, working-class voters, who cast their ballots heavily for Mr. Trump in 2016.

Pennsylvania, which went for Mr. Trump in 2016 after being a Democratic stronghold for decades, flipped to President Biden in 2020.

In office, Mr. Lamb has had a diverse political record.

Though often referred to as a moderate Democrat, Mr. Lamb has offered support for progressive proposals such as eliminating the Senate’s filibuster rule.

Several Republicans have already also entered the race. Among them are Carla Sands, who was Mr. Trump’s ambassador to Denmark; and Sean Parnell, a friend of Donald Trump Jr.

Mr. Lamb, however, may have the backing of Mr. Biden, who previously stumped for the lawmaker when he first ran for office three years ago.

Mr. Biden, then a private citizen after serving as vice president, compared Mr. Lamb to his son Beau Biden, who died of brain cancer in 2015.

Mr. Biden particularly touted Mr. Lamb’s emphasis on labor and union issues, dubbing him a “son of southwestern Pennsylvania.”

“We can do this thing standing on our head,” Mr. Biden said at the time, regarding Mr. Lamb’s chances of victory. “This is the guy to help lead us to a future you are going to love.”

The Pennsylvania primary will be May 17.

• Mica Soellner can be reached at msoellner@washingtontimes.com.

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