- CompanyU.S. House of Representatives, Pennsylvania's 17th Congressional District
In late 2017, Conor Lamb, a young military veteran and assistant U.S. attorney, exploded onto the national political stage seemingly overnight. With his party still reeling and recovering from Hillary Clinton’s dramatic loss to President Donald Trump, along with losses in Congress, he was heralded as a potential way forward for Democrats. A breath of fresh air for a party suffocating in defeat. And while many would fold under that pressure, he excelled.
Lamb spotted an opening in Congress in a special election for Pennsylvania’s 17th congressional district, a seat previously held by a Republican who had run unopposed in his previous two elections and decided to run. In what became a highly symbolic election for the GOP, where Republicans ended up spending more than $8 million in television ads, Lamb was able to use his military experience and straight-talk approach to beat “insurmountable odds” and win his district, the first time a Democrat had done so since 2003. The win gave a boost to Democrats and set the pulse for a big win later in 2018, where he also clinched his reelection race. Now heralded as a rising star, the forward-looking congressman may have his eyes set on a larger prize, and leadership is taking notice.
“I don’t know all of you personally, but I know you,” said Joe Biden of Lamb before he flipped his seat. “I know this state. I know this region. I know what it’s made up of. I know the values that underpin all of what you believe in—family, community, again, not leaving anybody behind.”