March 16, 2018

Word: Conor Lamb's victory in Pennsylvania

Kate Aronoff, In These Times -   Lamb’s victory isn’t an unambiguous sign that out-and-out progressives can sail to victory in areas carried by Trump. A former federal prosecutor, Lamb supports both coal and fracking, is “personally opposed” to abortion (though doesn’t support laws banning it), and rejects both Medicare for All and a $15 minimum wage.

Yet at a time when organized labor faces existential threats at the federal level, Lamb’s heavily union-backed campaign also signals that Democrats running as explicitly pro-labor can win—even in the face of $14 million worth of Republican opposition. Lamb enjoyed hearty backing from Pennsylvania unions, including the United Steelworkers, the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and the United Mine Workers of America, and he ran on bread-and-butter economic issues such as protecting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Unions, in turn, got out the vote against Lamb’s avowedly anti-union opponent, state Rep. Rick Saccone. “Organized labor built Western Pennsylvania, tonight they have reasserted their right to have a major part in our future,” Lamb said in his victory speech.

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