Democratic Congressman Conor Lamb joined the scrum vying for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.
And he has at least one high-profile local supporter: Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, who told the Delaware Valley Journal that Lamb is “the right man at the right moment.”
In a video announcement Friday, Lamb, 37, said that “our democracy is in crisis.”
“The other side denies reality and worships Trump. They’re making it harder to vote and lying about our elections. Well, I swore an oath to protect the Constitution as a Marine, as a prosecutor and as a member of Congress. And I will keep that oath.”
Lamb, who represents Allegheny and Butler Counties, as well as all of Beaver County in southwestern Pennsylvania, is in his second term in office.
He won his current seat in a closely fought battle with Republican Sean Parnell, an author and veteran, who is himself running for the Republican nomination for the Senate. The two could again wrestle for the same political prize if they win their respective party nominations.
Before running for Congress, Lamb served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Justice Department’s Pittsburgh office.
“I’m a big fan, a big supporter of Conor Lamb,” said Stollsteimer, who himself is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney. Lamb’s “whole life has been about public service. He’s been a Marine. He’s been a federal prosecutor. He’s been a really great congressman. I have no doubt he’ll be a great U.S. senator.”
Lamb is a high-profile member of the more moderate wing of the Democratic Party, offering an alternative to the more progressive candidates like Lt. Gov. John Fetterman. He also throws a regional wrench into Fetterman’s plans by challenging him for support among Democrats in the western part of the state.
Meanwhile, Stollsteimer calls Lamb one of the “best and brightest.”
“He represents the younger generation and I think he represents them well,” said Stollsteimer, who agreed that Lamb had the aura of a prior Democratic star, President John F. Kennedy.
“He’s got youth, but he’s really thoughtful,” he added. “He’s done a lot in a short time. He’s prepared to be a senator. I believe he’s got the right set of values to represent working people.”
Many other Democrats are also hoping to appeal to primary voters, including Montgomery County Commissioners Chair Val Arkoosh, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Philadelphia state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta. In addition to Parnell, the Republican contenders include Montgomery County businessman Jeff Bartos, Fox commentator and author Kathy Barnette, Montgomery County lawyer Sean Gale and former Ambassador Carla Sands.
A recent poll of Politics PA readers showed Lamb in second place before he officially declared: Malcolm Kenyatta (38 percent); Conor Lamb (35 percent): John Fetterman (15 percent); Val Arkoosh (6 percent); Someone Else (2 percent); Sharif Street (1 percent); John McGuigan (1 percent); Alexandria Khalil (1 percent); Kevin Baumlin (0 percent).
Lamb serves on House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, according to his website. He is also a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure, and chairs the Congressional Steel Caucus. Lamb also serves on the Problem Solvers Caucus, For Country Caucus, Expand Social Security, and the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus. Lamb lives in Mt. Lebanon and is a graduate of Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.