Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.) on Friday entered the race for a U.S. Senate seat that could determine which party holds the upper chamber after the 2022 midterm elections.
“I believe this is the most important Senate seat in the country,” Lamb said in a video announcing his plans to run.
Lamb joins a crowded race that includes Democrat Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, 51, former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark during the Trump administration Carla Sands, 60, and Republican Craig Snyder, former chief of staff to Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.).
Specter held the seat they’re vying for until 2011, when he was succeeded by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.).
Toomey is retiring after his current term, leaving the seat up for grabs.
Lamb, 37, thinks he’s got a shot at emerging from the tough Democrat primary and beating whoever wins the Republican nomination.
Lamb said he’ll work on raising the minimum wage and help pass healthcare reform if he’s elected to the Senate.
He also knocked Republicans, attempting to tie all the GOP candidates to former President Donald Trump.
“I talk with Pennsylvanians every day who’ve come to believe that our democracy is in crisis. And they’re right. The other side denies reality and worships Trump. They’re making it harder to vote and lying about our elections,” Lamb claimed.
Some in the GOP field have tried to distance themselves from Trump, including Snyder. In the press release announcing his bid, Snyder said he was running “to see to it that neither Trumpism nor socialism own our public debates.” He said he represented “a common-sense conservatism.”
Republicans hit back at Lamb, a former prosecutor and military veteran who entered the House of Representatives in 2018.
“Conor Lamb is just another extreme progressive liberal joining the other extreme progressive liberals. Lamb has voted 93% of the time with Nancy Pelosi and will be a rubber stamp for the dangerous liberal policies,” Lizzie Litzow, spokeswoman for the National Republican Senate Committee, said in a statement, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “The NRSC will spend every day highlighting their positions that are way out of step with the voters of Pennsylvania.”
Lamb’s bid for the Senate will trigger a fresh race for the seat he holds, which represents Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District. The district went for Trump in 2016 before narrowly swinging to Democrat Joe Biden in 2020.
Lamb won the election last year by just 2.2 percent over fellow veteran Sean Parnell.
Parnell is among the Republicans vying for the soon-to-be vacant Senate seat.