It’s official: Democrat Conor Lamb is the next congressman from Pennsylvania after defeating Republican candidate Rick Saccone in a deeply conservative district.
The congressman-elect tweeted that Saccone had finally called him to concede, a week after it became clear Lamb had won the election by less than one thousand votes in the incredibly close special election in the state’s 18th Congressional District.
“Just got off the phone with my opponent, @RickSaccone4PA, who congratulated me & graciously conceded last Tuesday’s election. I congratulate Mr. Saccone for a close, hard-fought race & wish him the best,” Lamb wrote on Twitter.
Saccone — a candidate who once declared himself “Trump before Trump was Trump” — was confident he would come victorious in a district that turned out in droves for President Donald Trump in 2016. But in recent weeks, Republicans were in full panic mode, dumping almost $10 million into the race. Lamb’s victory shows they were right to be so worried.
And it wasn’t just Republicans who feared losing this district — it was Trump himself. Trump cared enough about Saccone winning that he joined him on the campaign trail multiple times and sent Vice President Mike Pence and members of his family, including son Donald Trump Jr. and daughter Ivanka Trump, to stump. He even held a rally for Saccone in Moon Township, Pennsylvania the day before the election.
None of it worked.
Trump voters ended up proving they could just as easily cast their votes for a Democrat with the right message.
Just got off the phone with my opponent, @RickSaccone4PA, who congratulated me & graciously conceded last Tuesday's election. I congratulate Mr. Saccone for a close, hard-fought race & wish him the best.
Ready to be sworn in & get to work for the people of #PA18.
— Conor Lamb (@ConorLambPA) March 21, 2018