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Democrat clings to tiny lead in Pennsylvania House race

Wednesday - March 14, 2018 6:52 pm , Category : WORLD

Washington March 14 (IANS) A special election for a US House seat in Pennsylvania was on Wednesday too close to call with Democrat Conor Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone separated by several hundred votes only in a race that had become a test of President Donald Trumps political clout.



With votes counted in every precinct Lamb got 49.8 per cent -- just ahead of Saccone (49.6 per cent) the US media reported.

Lamb s chances of completing an upset win over Republican Rick Saccone were promising and the Democrat declared victory early in the morning Politico magazine reported.

"It took a little longer than we thought but we did it. You did it " Lamb told supporters at his election night party shortly before 1 a.m. after he was introduced as "Congressman-elect".

Democrats joined Lamb in claiming victory even as Republican groups protested it was premature. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján congratulated Lamb on defeating Saccone adding: "These results should terrify Republicans."

But Saccone did not concede the race and there are no official final results. A recount is possible if the candidates are separated by 0.5 percentage points or less.

The outcome could set the tone for November s mid-term elections when Republicans will fight to keep majority in both the US House of Representatives and the Senate.

President Donald Trump won the working-class Pennsylvania district by more than 20 points in the 2016 presidential election but the race has become unexpectedly tight despite his efforts.

Trump visited the district twice during the campaign while Republicans spent millions of dollars to keep a firm Republican grasp on the seat.

Marine veteran Conor Lamb a 33-year-old former prosecutor promised not to support Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and took up relatively conservative positions for his party.

He opposes new gun restrictions but backs expanded background checks and has declared himself personally opposed to abortion.

His Republican opponent Rick Saccone 60 is a four-term state lawmaker Air Force veteran and former counter-intelligence officer who has referred to himself Trump s "wingman".

--IANS
soni/dg

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