There is a special election going on in the Rust Belt. Republican Tim Murphy was the congressional representative for the 18th district in Pennsylvania since 2003. He claimed conservative values and yet was caught in a sexual relationship with someone other than his wife and had requested that she have an abortion. This resulted in him resigning his seat which threw it up for grabs.
The two contenders for this seat are Conor Lamb, a Democrat, and a Rick Saccone, a Republican. This seat has long been a Republican one since the 18th district was gerrymandered by Pennsylvania state politicians. They combined rural areas, which have been trending Republican over the last several years, with Republican-leaning Pittsburg suburbs. The result was a district that Trump won by 20%. However, Democrats have been voting in force across the nation since Trump was elected President and has proven to be one of the worst in history, so Lamb has a shot at winning.
One of the national political action committees that is endorsing Conor Lamb is End Citizens United out of Washington D.C. They are supporting him because he is all for campaign finance reform, the key issue that this PAC is focused on. Politics have been awash in money from wealthy people and corporations since the Supreme Court decided to upend decades of reforms keeping big money from unduly influencing elections.
Since Trump was inaugurated Democrats have been winning seats in a number of states. So far they have flipped a governor’s seat, a U.S. Senate seat, and 34 seats in state’s legislatures. Meanwhile, the GOP has only managed to pick up four seats in state legislatures and nothing else.
Conor Lamb is a 33-year-old who is a Marine Veteran. He is also someone that has served as a federal prosecutor. He is regarded as having an uphill battle to win the open seat but there is wind in his sails. Democrats are very enthusiastic about him in his district and are very mad at the Republican party. Add in that the Republican in this contest is heavily against unions in a district where they still are influential and Lamb just might pull off the upset victory.
End Citizens United was founded in 2015 and was first active in the 2016 presidential election, spending $25 million. They are on track to raise even more money in the 2018 midterm elections. They are provided money by grassroots supporters who give around $12 on average, or the opposite of big money. They have endorsed several candidates for the 2018 elections including among others Paul Davis in Kentucky, Dean Phillips in Minnesota, Jason Crow in Colorado, and John Sarbanes in Maryland.