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Conor James Lamb (born June 27, 1984) is an American attorney, politician, former federal prosecutor and former Marine who currently serves as the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 17th congressional district since January 2019. The district serves most of the northwestern suburbs of Pittsburgh. A member of the Democratic Party, Lamb was first elected to Congress from the neighboring 18th District in March 2018, in a special election against Republican Rick Saccone that attracted national attention.[2][3][4][5][6] After Pennsylvania's congressional map was redrawn by court order, Lamb filed to run for a full term in the 17th district in the 2018 general election, which he also won.[7]

Conor Lamb
Conor Lamb, Official Portrait, 115th Congress.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Pennsylvania
Assumed office
April 12, 2018
Preceded byTim Murphy (18th District)
Keith Rothfus (17th District)
Constituency18th district (2018–2019)
17th district (2019–present)
Personal details
Conor James Lamb

(1984-06-27) June 27, 1984 (age 35)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Hayley Haldeman[1] (m. 2019)
RelativesThomas F. Lamb (grandfather)
EducationUniversity of Pennsylvania (BA, JD)
WebsiteHouse website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Marine Corps
Years of service2009–2013 (Active)
2013–present (Reserve)
RankUS Marine O3 shoulderboard.svg Captain (Active)
US Marine O4 shoulderboard.svg Major (Reserve)
UnitMarine Forces Reserve insignia (transparent background).png U.S. Marine Corps Reserve

Lamb was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney's office in Pittsburgh, where he led prosecutions of cases involving opioid-related deaths, violent crimes, and gun trafficking.[8][9]

Early life and educationEdit

Lamb was born in Washington, D.C., on June 27, 1984, to Thomas F. Lamb Jr. and Katie Lamb. He grew up in Mt. Lebanon, a suburb in the south hills of Pittsburgh, and for a brief period in Connecticut. The Lamb family has been active in Pittsburgh-area politics for many years. Conor's grandfather, Thomas F. Lamb, was the Democratic Majority Leader in the Pennsylvania State Senate and later Secretary of Legislative Affairs under Governor Robert P. Casey.[10][11] Conor's uncle Michael Lamb is the Controller of the City of Pittsburgh, and was previously the Prothonotary of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

A Catholic of Irish descent,[12][13][14] Lamb attended St. Bernard School in Pittsburgh, and graduated from Central Catholic High School in 2002. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006 with a B.A. degree in political science, and earned a J.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2009.

Military serviceEdit

After law school, Lamb completed the Marine Corps' Officer Candidates School before being commissioned as a Judge Advocate. As his first duty assignment, he was stationed at a Marine base on Okinawa Island, where he prosecuted cases of rape and sexual assault. Following completion of his active duty service in 2013, Lamb continued his military obligation through service in the United States Marine Corps Reserve as a captain. He would later be promoted to major. In a high-profile case in 2017, he prosecuted and convicted a Marine officer who had lied under oath and to The Washington Post about a sexual misconduct case.[15][16]

Assistant U.S. AttorneyEdit

From 2013 to 2014, Lamb clerked for Joseph Frank Bianco, a federal judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Following his clerkship, in October 2014 Lamb was appointed an Assistant United States Attorney in the United States Department of Justice's Pittsburgh office, serving under then-U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania David J. Hickton. Lamb has been heavily involved in efforts to combat the opioid epidemic in Western Pennsylvania, and has led aggressive prosecutions involving opioid-related deaths, other violent crimes and drug and gun trafficking.

During Lamb's election campaign for the 2018 special election for Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district, Republicans accused Lamb of having a "weak record" as a prosecutor, referencing particular cases in support of this claim.[17] examined the Republicans' claims, calling them "vague" and "misleading," and found little evidence to support them.[17]

Notable casesEdit

"Uptown Crew" gang prosecutionEdit

In 2015, Lamb won convictions against three men who were among 34 members of a heroin gang indicted in 2013 after a wiretap investigation by the FBI, the ATF, the state attorney general's office and local police. Thomas Hopes, described as the "CEO" of the violent heroin-distribution operation, was sentenced to 24 years in federal prison, and brothers Keith and Gregory Harris were sentenced to 20 years and 121 months in prison, respectively.[18][19] Lamb also helped win convictions against two New Jersey-based men, Aldwin Vega and Santino Drew, who were identified as two of the biggest suppliers of heroin to the Pittsburgh area. Vega was convicted at trial in September 2017 for trafficking a kilogram or more of heroin, and has not yet been sentenced. Drew was found guilty of conspiracy to distribute heroin and possession with the intent to distribute heroin, and was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.[20]

Pittsburgh-to-New York gunrunning prosecutionEdit

In 2016, Lamb won convictions against two Pittsburgh residents, Brandon Goode and Mychael Scott, who acted as "straw buyers," purchasing firearms for a gun trafficker to help funnel hundreds of illegal weapons into New York City. Goode and Scott were sentenced to 65 and 60 months in prison, respectively.[21] Lamb also secured a conviction against the main gun trafficker, Michael Bassier, who was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.[22]

Andre SaundersEdit

In 2016, Lamb secured a conviction against Andre Saunders, a drug dealer from Fayette County, Pennsylvania, who imported hundreds of kilograms of cocaine and heroin from the West Coast into the Uniontown area and West Virginia and supplied heroin and cocaine to multiple dealers in the Uniontown area. Saunders was convicted of conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine and sentenced to 10 years in prison, and was ordered to forfeit his BMW, five luxury watches and a necklace, $325,120 in cash, his Uniontown home, the proceeds of the sale of a second Uniontown home, a 9-mm pistol, and a money judgment of $100,000.[23]

Dorian CottrellEdit

In 2016, Lamb won a conviction against Dorian Cottrell, a heroin dealer who shot a man during a drug transaction at the Cambridge Square apartments in Monroeville, PA. Cottrell was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison and was ordered to forfeit his BMW, $27,000 in cash and 10 firearms.[24]

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit


2018 special electionEdit

Lamb at a March 2018 rally

On October 5, 2017, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Lamb was considering running for Congress in a special election for Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district. The vacancy was created when Representative Tim Murphy (R) resigned amid revelations that he had had an extramarital affair and urged his mistress to terminate an unexpected pregnancy, despite his long record as a vocal opponent of abortion.[25] Murphy had run unopposed by a major candidate for his prior two elections, 2016 and 2014.

Lamb was selected as the Democratic nominee at a convention in November 2017.[26] He faced Republican State Representative Rick Saccone. The special election attracted national attention. National Republican sources spent more than $8 million on television advertising, twice as much as the Democrats, and Republican stars including President Donald Trump, his two children Donald Jr. and Ivanka, as well as Vice President Mike Pence came to the state to campaign for Saccone.[27]

Lamb's campaign website lists his top priorities as the heroin crisis, jobs and infrastructure, affordable health care, protecting Medicare and Social Security, reforming the student loan system, unions, and modern energy development.[28] On gun control, Lamb has called for a stronger system of background checks but no new restrictions. On tariffs, Lamb supports President Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs. On health care, Lamb criticized the Republican attempt to repeal Obamacare and called for bipartisan efforts to stabilize its markets.[29]

By the end of election night on March 13, 2018, Lamb led by 641 votes.[30][31] When all absentee ballots were counted, Lamb led by 627 votes,[3] with a few provisional and military ballots yet to be counted.[32] Lamb claimed victory on Tuesday night. Early on Wednesday morning, citing the large net pickup of absentee votes for Lamb, NBC News called the race for Lamb.[33] On Wednesday afternoon, The New York Times followed suit after concluding that Lamb's lead, while narrow, appeared "insurmountable."[34] However, most news outlets did not declare a result, noting the closeness of the vote (just 0.2% separates the candidates) and the likelihood of a recount.[32] However, when it became apparent that Saccone would not pick up enough votes to overtake Lamb, he called Lamb to concede the race on March 21.[35]

Lamb's lead came primarily on the strength of winning the Allegheny County portion of the district by almost 15,400 votes. He lost the rest of the district by 14,700 votes.[36]

After Lamb's apparent win in the special election, Republicans claimed that he won because "he ran as a conservative".[37][38] This was a distinct shift from the campaign, during which Republicans said Lamb "Walks The Liberal Party Line" and chastised him for opposing the Republican 2017 tax reform bill.[37] Lamb ran in opposition to the law, describing it as a "giveaway" to large corporations and a "betrayal" of middle-class Americans.[37] Trump asserted that Lamb had said he "liked Trump", but there is no evidence of Lamb ever doing so.[37] Lamb was certified as the winner on April 2, 2018, winning by 755 votes.[39] He was sworn in by House Speaker Paul Ryan on April 12, 2018,[40] and became the first Democrat to represent this district since 2003, when it was numbered as the 20th District.

2018 general electionEdit

After the Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the state's original congressional map and replaced it with a court-drawn map, the old 18th was reconfigured as the 14th District and made even more Republican on paper. Meanwhile, Lamb's home in Mt. Lebanon was drawn into the 17th District. That district had previously been the 12th, represented by three-term Republican Keith Rothfus. The district had lost much of its eastern portion, centered around Johnstown, becoming a more compact district northwest of Pittsburgh. While the old 12th was one of Trump's strongest districts in Pennsylvania in 2016, Trump would have only barely carried the new 17th. The new 17th also voted for Democrats down the ballot. This led to speculation that Lamb would run in the new 17th, regardless of the special election results.[41] On March 14, Beaver County Democratic Party chairman Stephen Dupree told ABC News that Lamb submitted a written request for county Democrats to endorse his bid for the 17th in the November 2018 general election; Beaver County is entirely within the new 17th.[42] On March 16, Lamb announced on his Twitter account that he was in the process of gathering petitions for a run in the 17th.[43] On March 20, he formally submitted petitions for a full term in the 17th.[44] He was unopposed in the May 15 primary[45] and defeated Rothfus in the general election.[46]


Committee assignmentsEdit

Caucus membershipsEdit

Electoral historyEdit

Democratic nominating convention, 2017[50][51][52][53]
Candidate First ballot Pct. Second ballot Pct.
Conor Lamb 225 40.6% 319 58.5%
Gina Cerilli 153 27.6% 152 27.9%
Pam Iovino 90 16.2% 74 13.6%
Mike Crossey 47 8.5% Eliminated
Rueben Brock 21 3.8% Eliminated
Bob Solomon 18 3.2% Eliminated
Keith Seewald 0 0.0% Eliminated
Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district special election, 2018[54]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Conor Lamb 114,102 49.86% +49.86%
Republican Rick Saccone 113,347 49.53% -50.47%
Libertarian Drew Gray Miller 1,381 0.60% +0.60%
Total votes 228,830 100.00%
Plurality 755 0.33% -99.67%
Democratic gain from Republican
Pennsylvania's 17th congressional district Democratic primary, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Conor Lamb (incumbent) 52,508 100.0
Total votes 52,508 100.0
Pennsylvania's 17th congressional district general election, 2018
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Conor Lamb (incumbent) 181,187 56.2
Republican Keith Rothfus (incumbent) 141,145 43.8
Total votes 322,332 100.0
Democratic gain from Republican


  1. ^ "Rep. Conor Lamb gets married in Pittsburgh". MSN. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  2. ^ Weigel, David (January 4, 2018). "Republican super PACs surge into Pennsylvania special election". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 4, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Nilsen, Ella (March 14, 2018). "It's official: Democrat Conor Lamb wins Pennsylvania special election in major upset". Vox. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  4. ^ "Pennsylvania Elections-Office Results". Pennsylvania Department of State. Archived from the original on March 29, 2018. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  5. ^ "So it begins? National groups investing in Pa-18 special election". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. January 5, 2018.
  6. ^ "Democratic wave: Republicans are bracing for a potentially competitive special election in a usually reliable part of Pennsylvania". Politico. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  7. ^ "Conor Lamb wins House race in Pennsylvania". The Hill. November 6, 2018.
  8. ^ "First special election of 2018 is in Trump country — and Democrats are drooling". Salon. December 27, 2017.
  9. ^ Jenkins, Nash (March 12, 2018). "Meet Conor Lamb, the Democrat Who Could Pull Off an Upset in Pennsylvania's Special Election". Time. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  10. ^ Tackett, Michael; Martin, Jonathan (March 14, 2018). "Who Is Conor Lamb, Winner in a Special House Race in Pennsylvania?". The New York Times. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  11. ^ Ove, Torsten (May 10, 2015). "Obituary: Thomas F. Lamb / Masterful state political figure known as firm and fair". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  12. ^ Saksa, Jim (February 18, 2018). "Is Conor Lamb the Next Big Democratic Upset?". Politico.
  13. ^ "Pennsylvania Special Election Could Be the First Ripple in a Democratic Wave". New York Magazine. December 26, 2017.
  14. ^ Meet Conor Lamb, the Democrat looking to nab a seat in Trump country, ABC News, Adam Kelsey & Erica King, March 13, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  15. ^ Jackson, Brooks (February 28, 2018). "NRCC's Weak Case". Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  16. ^ Marimow, Ann; Cox, John (April 13, 2017). "'Ready to pay': Marine taken in shackles after pleading guilty to lying in sexual misconduct case". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 16, 2018.
  17. ^ a b "NRCC's Weak Case -". February 28, 2018. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  18. ^ Ove, Torsten (March 11, 2016). "Heroin boss gets 24 years in N.J.-to-Homestead federal drug case". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  19. ^ "Brothers Sentenced for Participating in a Violent Drug Conspiracy". U.S. Department of Justice. February 29, 2016. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  20. ^ "Federal Jury Finds New Jersey Man Guilty Of Supplying Heroin To Pittsburgh-based Drug Ring". U.S. Department of Justice. May 14, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  21. ^ Ove, Torsten (August 2, 2016). "Two Pittsburgh straw buyers convicted in gunrunning network sentenced". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  22. ^ Mandak, Joe (December 13, 2016). "Man gets 10 years for Pennsylvania-to-New York gun running". The Morning Call. Allentown, Pennsylvania. Associated Press. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  23. ^ Lord, Rich (May 23, 2016). "Fayette County heroin dealer sentenced". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  24. ^ Ove, Torsten (March 18, 2016). "Monroeville heroin dealer gets 15 years in federal prison". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  25. ^ Potter, Chris (October 5, 2017). "Tim Murphy's departure brings many would-be replacements, as well as a ray of hope for Democrats". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  26. ^ "Conor Lamb Wins First-Ever Congressional Democratic Convention". Pennsylvania Democratic Party. November 19, 2017. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  27. ^ Schneider, Elena; Isenstadt, Alex (March 12, 2018). "Republicans wage 11th-hour blitz in Pa. special election". Politico. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  28. ^ "Priorities - Conor Lamb". Conor Lamb. Conor Lamb for Congress. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  29. ^ Bradner, Eric (March 13, 2018). "Where Conor Lamb, Rick Saccone stand on the issues". CNN. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  30. ^ Martin, Jonathan; Burns, Alexander (March 13, 2018). "Pennsylvania House Race, in a District Trump Won by 20 Points, Is Too Close to Call". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  31. ^ Cohn, Nate (March 13, 2018). "Pennsylvania Special Election Results: 18th Congressional District". The New York Times. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  32. ^ a b Schneider, Elena (March 14, 2018). "Republicans prepare for recount in Pennsylvania special election". Politico. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
  33. ^ Alex Seitz-Wald (March 14, 2018). "Democrat Conor Lamb apparent winner in Pennsylvania upset, deals blow to Trump". NBC News.
  34. ^ Alexander Burns; Jonathan Martin (March 14, 2018). "Conor Lamb Wins Pennsylvania House Seat, Giving Democrats a Map for Trump Country". The New York Times.
  35. ^ Bradner, Eric (March 22, 2018). "Republican Rick Saccone concedes 8 days after Pennsylvania special election". CNN. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  36. ^ "Pennsylvania's House special election 2018". CNN.
  37. ^ a b c d Resnick, Gideon (March 15, 2018). "Trump Falsely Brags to Donors That Conor Lamb Liked the GOP Tax Reform". The Daily Beast. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  38. ^ Golshan, Tara (March 14, 2018). "Paul Ryan says Conor Lamb, who ran against the GOP tax plan, ran "as a conservative"". Vox. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  39. ^ "Finally official: Conor Lamb certified winner of congressional seat". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  40. ^ "Conor Lamb is finally, officially the U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 18th District". The Incline. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  41. ^ Cohn, Nate; Bloch, Matthew; Quealy, Kevin (February 19, 2018). "The New Pennsylvania House Districts Are In. We Review the Mapmakers' Choices". The Upshot. The New York Times. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  42. ^ Emily Goodin; John Verhovek (March 15, 2018). "Conor Lamb, Rick Saccone to run again in November in new and different congressional districts". ABC News.
  43. ^ Lamb, Conor [@ConorLambPA] (March 16, 2018). "Stop by our Carnegie office this weekend to sign & pick up petitions & help get Congressman-elect Conor Lamb on the ballot in 2018!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  44. ^ Eliza Collins (March 20, 2018). "Conor Lamb won Pennsylvania's 18th district. Tuesday he filed in the state's 17th District". USA Today.
  45. ^ "Pennsylvania Primary Results, US House: Guy Reschenthaler tops Rick Saccone in 14th District; Mike Doyle wins easily". WTAE. May 16, 2018.
  46. ^ "Conor Lamb wins House race in Pennsylvania". The Hill. November 6, 2018.
  47. ^ "Members". LGBT Equality Caucus. Archived from the original on April 2, 2017. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  48. ^ "Expand Social Security Caucus - Social Security Works". Social Security Works. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  49. ^ "Congressional Steel Caucus". Congressional Steel Caucus. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  50. ^ "Conor Lamb Wins First-Ever Congressional Democratic Convention - Pennsylvania Democratic Party". Pennsylvania Democratic Party. November 19, 2017. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  51. ^ @PADems (November 19, 2017). "Results from round one of voting: Lamb: 225, Cerilli: 153, Iovino: 90, Crossey: 47, Brock: 21, Solomon: 18, Seewald: 0. Lamb, Cerilli, and Iovino advance to round two" (Tweet). Retrieved November 20, 2017 – via Twitter.
  52. ^ @PADems (November 19, 2017). "Results from round two: 545 total votes cast this round. Iovino: 74, Cerilli: 152, Lamb: 319" (Tweet). Retrieved November 20, 2017 – via Twitter.
  53. ^ @PADems (November 19, 2017). ".@ConorLambPA wins!" (Tweet). Retrieved November 20, 2017 – via Twitter.
  54. ^ Deppen, Colin (April 2, 2018). "Allegheny County's District 18 special election results are finally official". The Incline. Retrieved April 3, 2018. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)

External linksEdit