WASHINGTON (NBC News) — Democrat Conor Lamb is the apparent winner over Republican Rick Saccone in Tuesday’s special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, according to an NBC News projection.
Lamb, who declared victory early Wednesday morning, was leading by 641 votes in a district long held by the GOP that President Donald Trump, who backed Saccone, carried by 20 points in 2016. Saccone has not conceded and his campaign is in touch with legal counsel.
Shortly before 1:00 a.m., Lamb was introduced as “congressman-elect” at his election night party.
“It took a little longer than we thought, but we did it!” Lamb told cheering supporters.
Lamb, 33, was already looking ahead to Capitol Hill, saying, “Our job in Congress is to attack the problems, not each other.”
Earlier, Saccone, 60, addressed his supporters and stopped short of any declarations.
“We’re not giving up,” Saccone said at about 11:30 p.m. “We’re going to be working late into the night, tomorrow…Don’t give up! We’re going to win it!”
Under state law, supporters of either candidate can request a recount if they believe there was an error in the initial tally. There is no provision, however, for automatic recounts in tight congressional elections.
Bob Branstetter, general consultant for the Saccone campaign, told NBC News that the campaign has been in touch with legal counsel and is exploring all its options.