Former Marine and Democrat Conor Lamb is running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 18th district against Republican candidate Rick Saccone, who describes himself as “Trump before Trump was Trump.” The two are vying for a seat that has traditionally been held by a Republican, often running unopposed by the Democratic party. A special election was triggered when Congressman Tim Murphy, a pro-life politician, stepped down amidst controversy that he had urged his mistress to get an abortion.
In spite of the uphill battle faced by Lamb, many Democrats are optimistic of his chances in the upcoming election. Although the district traditionally votes red, his opponent is known as a “right to work” candidate in an area with a strong labor union presence. Lamb’s supporters also point to his personal pro-life position as well as his support for the Second Amendment as strengths to win over conservative voters.
The political action committee End Citizens United has come out in support of Lamb, stating that he is “running for Congress to stand up for Pennsylvania families who have been ignored by the rigged system in Washington.” The PAC formed in March of 2015 following the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which ruled that political contributions by corporations were protected by free speech laws. Lamb supports the group’s message, vowing not to take political contributions from corporate funded PACs, and stating that, “our campaign finance system is part of the reason why [our system isn’t working]”.
End Citizens United describes itself as a committee built upon grassroots efforts, and they recently raised $600,000 for Doug Jones’ successful Senate race in the red state of Alabama as part of their mission to “end the unlimited and undisclosed money in politics.” Jones and Lamb fit into the organization’s mission statement, where they pledge to elect pro-finance reform candidates and ultimately overturn the Supreme Court decision.
Pennsylvania’s special election takes place on March 13th, and End Citizens United looks forward to a Democratic victory along with many more to come, as its website states that, “Republican leadership in Congress is standing squarely in the way of overturning this disastrous Supreme Court decision.”