Vulnerable Democrats Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA) and Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) are looking to exit the House of Representatives and run for the U.S. Senate, leaving House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to defend her shrinking majority and giving more momentum to the Republican effort to regain the House.
According to a Politico report, Lamb has started to tell some of his donors and supporters that he will likely enter the Pennsylvania Senate race. The Democrat has allegedly been telling some of his donors to start contributing to the campaign as he will start to ramp up his fundraising and have a formal launch.
He will be running to replace the retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. Before winning in a crucial special election in 2018, Lamb was a former Marine and federal prosecutor. The reports claim Lamb has tried to keep quiet about his potential run, though the Democrat has recently hired fundraising consultants in addition to holding a high-profile fundraiser with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).
In a statement to Politico, Abby Nassif-Murphy, Lamb’s campaign manager, said, “no decision has been made.” Nassif-Murphy later added, Lamb’s campaign is frontline and “one of the most competitive districts in the country, and Conor is already facing attack ads from national Republican super PACs.” This is why “we’re going to keep raising money, defending Conor’s record, and finding opportunities to help down-ballot Democrats wherever and however we can.”
Houlahan is known for being one of her Congressional delegation’s best fundraisers. She recently told the Philadelphia Inquirer that she was seriously considering entering the race, according to the report. Previously, Houlahan was a former officer in the United States Air Force.
Currently, the open seat has already attracted a crowded primary field for the Democrats. The Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is officially running with $1.9 million cash on hand along with State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, who has $217,000 cash on hand. Val Arkoosh, a physician and Montgomery County commissioner, entered the race this month.
With midterms approaching, Democrats are quickly losing seats and momentum to members retiring, looking to escape the possible loss of a majority or seeking higher office. With this latest blow, the Congressional Republicans may be inching closer to take back the House. Many Democrats allegedly believe “they would be unable to field a candidate who could hold onto his district next fall, likely costing them a seat.” In addition, “Republicans control the state legislature, but Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf can veto their maps.”
On Friday, another Democrat, Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), the former Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Chairwoman, and a top lieutenant of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), announced Friday she would not be seeking reelection.
The Republican’s campaign arm, National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), created an “Exit List” last month, which was comprised of vulnerable Democrats the Republicans are looking to pick off in the midterm.
Lamb, Houlahan, and Bustos are all on the list.
“House Democrats are running for the exits because they know they’re in for a bruising election cycle which will cost them their jobs and their House majority,” the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Tom Emmer said in a statement when the NRCC first put the vulnerable Democrats on blast.“They’d rather move on than have to spend another election defending their socialist agenda that will strip Americans of their private health insurance, defund the police, open our borders and raise taxes.”
An NRCC Spokeswoman, Samantha Bullock, said in a statement, “Conor Lamb knows House Democrats are going to lose the majority in 2022 so he’s looking for the nearest exit.”
The statement added, “with redistricting looming over his seat and Democrats’ toxic socialist agenda to defend, Conor Lamb is taking concrete steps toward abandoning his district for a Senate run.”