HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republican Rick Saccone is conceding a special congressional election in southwestern Pennsylvania to Democrat Conor Lamb after the GOP considered a recount and legal action.
Lamb led by about 750 votes in a remarkable upset in a Republican-held district President Donald Trump won by 20 percentage points just 16 months ago.
The 33-year-old Lamb succeeds Republican Tim Murphy, the eight-term congressman who resigned in October amid a sex scandal. Vote counting was nearly over.
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In the race, Lamb struck a moderate tone. He downplayed opposition to Trump, opposed sweeping new gun regulations and supported Trump's steel tariffs, but he's a fierce critic of Republicans' tax cuts and health care policy.
Lamb's victory has sent shivers through Republicans as they try to keep their U.S. House majority in looming midterm elections.
Saccone released a statement Wednesday night:
This afternoon, I spoke to Mr. Lamb, conceding the race in the Pennsylvania 18th Congressional District and congratulating him on his victory. While there are less than 800 votes separating us, the people of the 18th District deserve to have a voice representing them in Congress.
I am honored and humbled to have worked with so many talented and committed supporters. Their tireless dedication to this campaign inspired and motivated me each and every day. While Yong and I are certainly disappointed with the outcome, I remain resolute in defending the voices of Southwestern Pennsylvania voters. I will continue this fight as a candidate in the 14th Congressional District.
Our country is at her greatest when brave Americans promote discussion of issues even when issues divide us.