The Latest: Lamb confident absentee ballots will go his way

Conor Lamb
The Associated Press

MT. LEBANON, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on the special congressional election in Pennsylvania (all times local):

7: 25 a.m.

Democrat Conor Lamb, who has a razor-thin lead over Republican Rick Saccone in Pennsylvania’s special congressional election, says he’s confident he’ll be the ultimate winner.

With some absentee ballots still being counted, Lamb told CNN Wednesday his campaign had made a push to help voters get absentee ballots.

Lamb told CNN he has not yet heard from Saccone, but added, “I congratulate him on fighting hard the whole way.”

Asked about his strong showing in a Republican district that Donald Trump carried by 20 points in 2016, Lamb said, “This is my home. You call it a red district, I call it western Pennsylvania.”

Trump campaigned for Saccone last weekend, urging voters not to “be conned by this guy Lamb.” Asked about Trump’s remarks, Lamb said, “There was a lot of foolishness in this election and a lot of really cartoonish campaigning, and I think by the time of the president’s visit…there was just a little bit of burnout on that type of campaigning.”

But Lamb says there are still “plenty of people here who are still pretty supportive” of Trump.


6:30 a.m.

A razor’s edge is separating Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone in the special congressional election in Pennsylvania. The 18th Congressional District went heavily for Donald Trump in 2016, but Lamb has claimed victory.

Absentee ballots were still being counted. The contest has drawn national attention as a bellwether for the midterm elections in November when the Republican Party’s House and Senate majorities are at risk.

Lamb’s showing in a district Trump won by 20 points in the presidential race was sure to stoke anxiety among Republicans nationwide and renewed enthusiasm among Democrats.

After midnight with all precincts reporting, unofficial results had Lamb leading Republican state Rep. Saccone by fewer than 600 votes. More than 1,000 absentee ballots were still being tabulated as the count carried into Wednesday.

Either candidate’s supporters can ask for a recount. However there are stiff requirements, including requiring three voters in the same precinct who can attest that error or fraud was committed.

The ultimate winner will face re-election in just eight months, and the congressional district as currently shaped will likely vanish next year thanks to a court-ordered redrawing of the state’s district maps.