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One last push for critical House seat

  • Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers, left, lifts up Democratic candidate Conor Lamb's hand as the crowd erupts in cheers and chants during a rally, Sunday, March 11, 2018, at the Greene County Fairgrounds in Waynesburg, Pa. Lamb is running against state Rep. Rick Saccone for Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District in a special election on Tuesday. (Antonella Crescimbeni/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP) Antonella Crescimbeni

  • Republican Rick Saccone, right, appeared at a campaign rally with President Donald Trump on Saturday. Saccone is running against Democrat Conor Lamb in a special election. AP



Associated Press
Monday, March 12, 2018

The final day of campaigning Monday before votes are cast in western Pennsylvania’s closely watched congressional election drew a visit by Donald Trump Jr. and lots of door-knocking all over the southwestern district where polls show a close race.

President Donald Trump tweeted about “steel and business” in a final push to sway voters while Donald Trump Jr., visiting a candy-making business, touted Republican Rick Saccone as someone who will be “helping fight with my father” for jobs to come back from overseas.

Saccone, a 60-year-old state lawmaker, has struggled with an electorate that favored Trump by nearly 20 percentage points just 16 months ago. He’s up against 33-year-old Conor Lamb, who pitches himself as an independent-minded Democrat.

Trump Jr., eating ice cream with Saccone at Sarris Candies in front of dozens of cameras, said Trump supporters “gotta stay in the game, they gotta stay motivated.”

“Our guys just can’t take winning for granted,” Trump Jr. said. “They have to get out there, they have to continue this fight, now, for the rest of ‘18, in ‘20 and in eight years we can make a big difference. They just can’t be lazy. They’ve gotta get out and vote, and if they get out and vote, we win easily.”

Lamb mostly stayed away from the cameras Monday, spending his final day knocking on doors in suburbs and small-towns outside Pittsburgh.

The outcome Tuesday of 2018’s first congressional elections is a barometer ahead of November’s midterm elections.

Democrats must flip 24 GOP-held seats to claim a House majority. An upset would embolden them as they look to win in places where the party has lost ground in recent decades, and it would spook Republicans about their prospects in this tempestuous era of Trump.