Conor Lamb joins crowded race for open Pennsylvania Senate seat

PITTSBURGH (AP) — U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb says he is running for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat, joining a crowded Democratic field in one of the nation’s most competitive races.

Lamb is seeking the nomination to replace outgoing GOP Sen. Pat Toomey. He made the announcement to a crowd of supporters in front of the IBEW Local 5 union building on the South Side of Pittsburgh.

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He’s a former Marine and federal prosecutor who rose to political prominence three years ago when he beat a Donald Trump-backed Republican in a special election that foreshadowed the 2018 Democratic takeover of the House.

The Senate race is wide open on both sides and is expected to be among the most expensive in next year’s election.

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Toomey is retiring after two terms.

He spoke to his supporters on Friday about democracy, as well as the need for a bigger, stronger and diverse middle class.

“Our opponents love to talk about freedom. We are the ones really fighting for freedom. We know that freedom means freedom from debt. Freedom from poverty wages freedom to learn on reliable internet. Drink clean water drive on safe roads and freedom from COVID-19,” he said.

Lamb is set to visit about a dozen different counties within the next week.