Decision 2020: How one local candidate adjusted his campaign amid COVID-19 pandemic
Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb is one of six candidates running for the Democratic nomination for state auditor general.
Channel 11’s Rick Earle spoke with him about the campaign and how he changed and adapted his strategy during this pandemic.
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“It's been a very different campaign. I'm a grassroots door-to-door campaigner, and not being able to do that in a campaign is hard,” Lamb said.
In mid-March, in the middle of the campaign for auditor general, Lamb’s approach turned from door to door to online platforms like Zoom and Facebook after stay-at-home orders were issued across the state and Lamb could no longer meet and greet voters in person.
“We had to find new ways to reach those voters, and having the various teleconferencing capabilities that you have out there right now, we've been able to continue to talk on a regular basis with a lot of voters across Pennsylvania. And so we continue to do that through social media, through our email campaign and through the telephone,” Lamb said.
Lamb has been the city controller for the past decade. He said his experience helping to resurrect a city on the brink of financial disaster when he took office is what sets him apart from the other five candidates. Lamb is the only candidate from western Pennsylvania.
“The job of auditor general is to protect access and waste and fraud and abuse, and that's what I've done here in Pittsburgh for the last 12 years, you know, really being that front line, the first line of defense against public corruption. I mean, it's what I’ve done. I’m the only one in this race (who) has done ... that work,” Lamb said.
Lamb, who's optimistic about his chances, said he wants to bring to the state the same level of transparency he developed in Pittsburgh, where he created a public website that tracks city contracts, campaign contributions and expenditures.
“The kind of tools that we developed in, you know, the tool of open government, of open data, you know my goal is to create an unprecedented level of transparency,” Lamb said.
Lamb said the pandemic not only had an impact how he campaigned, but also on fundraising. He said the campaign went into more of service mode at times attempting to get resources and help to those struggling during the COVID-19 crisis.
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