Republican candidate Rick Saccone conceded defeat in the tight race for Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, clearing the way for Democrat Conor Lamb to be sworn in next month.
“Just got off the phone with my opponent,” Lamb announced on Twitter, “who congratulated me & graciously conceded last Tuesday’s election. I congratulate Mr. Saccone for a close, hard-fought race & wish him the best.”
Saccone and Republicans had suggested they might seek a recount in the tight race. But the official vote count, which began on Friday, found Lamb adding to his lead, ending Wednesday more than 800 votes ahead of Saccone.
Lamb will represent the Pittsburgh-area district through the end of the year. Both he and Saccone are now candidates in new districts drawn by the state Supreme Court after it overruled a Republican-drawn map.
Lamb’s victory had embarrassed and worried Republicans, coming in a district that Saccone often referred to as “Trump country.” The president made two trips to the district, including a rally on the weekend before the election. At a Tuesday fundraiser for the National Republican Congressional Committee, the president said that he had helped Saccone close the gap.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee took a different view, with chairman Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, D-New Mexico, saying in a statement that Democrats would work to recreate Lamb’s upset across the country.
“There are more than one hundred districts more favorable for Democrats than this one and we look forward to competing hard in every single one,” Lujan said.
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