Congressional Profiles – March 13th Election, 18th Dist.

By Jim McCarville

US Congressional Election March 13 -18th District

A special election will be held March 13 to fill the seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, for PA’s Dist. 18. The district includes several south of Pittsburgh suburbs in Allegheny County, and parts of Washington, Greene and Westmoreland counties. This is the first highly contested election for the District since the 2010 census gerrymandering took effect.

Profiles of the two candidates follow.

Candidate: Conor Lamb (D)

Conor Lamb, the Democratic candidate, is a Marine Corps Captain and a former US federal prosecutor (Assistant US Attorney). Some of his significant cases  involved a perjury conviction in a sexual misconduct case; a heroin kingpin conviction; a firearms straw purchasing conviction; and a drug-related murder case conviction. The main thrust of the political ads run against him is his supposed ties to Minority Leader Pelosi. He has said that he would not support her bid to remain Minority Leader.

As his top priority, drawing on his prosecutorial background, Lamb says he will take immediate action in the fight against heroin. His additional priorities are protecting good jobs, making health care more affordable, protecting Medicare and Social Security, and releasing students from lifetime debt traps. He favors responsible natural gas extraction, the jobs that go with it, as well as clean air and clean water.

As of February 1, with over $500,000, Lamb had raised twice as much as his Republican opponent. He has been endorsed by “End Citizens United”, a nonprofit campaign that is directed at ending corporate election funding. Lamb refuses to accept money from outside corporate political action committees.

Candidate: Rick Saccone (R)

Rick Saccone, currently a State Senator from the Mon Valley, once described himself as ‘Trump before Trump.” He favors fixing Obamacare with free market policies, intensively vetting immigrants from terror-training countries and securing our borders. He is opposed to keeping a high national debt or raising high taxes to pay for the debt.

While in the State House, he proposed the Castle Doctrine and measures that the Daily News said would “make gun owners a ‘protected class’ against discrimination.”  In state government, he earned ratings of 100% by the NRA; 90% by the Federation of Independent Businesses; 86% by the American Conservative Union; 9% by Penn Environment and 0% by Planned Parenthood.

He is a former U.S. Air Force Officer with service as a USAF Interrogator in Iraq and a Counter Intelligence Chief in Korea. He also worked for several international companies

The Saccone campaign reported contributions of about $240,000 by Feb. 1. But outside Political Action Committees have pledged millions for TV advertising. Both President Trump and Vice-President Pence have appeared for him.

Jim McCarville is a member of the TMC Board and of the New People Editorial Collective.

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