It isn’t every day that you find Philadelphians saying good things about Pittsburgh.
Sure, it’s typically a sports thing – Phillies vs. Pirates; Flyers vs. Penguins; Eagles vs. Steelers.
So, it is newsworthy that the Philadelphia Democratic Party reached across the state to offer its endorsement to Conor Lamb for the U.S. Senate nomination in the Commonwealth.
“We had a voice vote and you could hear it, it was overwhelming,” said Bob Brady, head of the city Democratic Committee, to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The endorsement was made in a voice vote rather than a roll call.
Lamb represents the 17th District which includes much of the Pittsburgh-area suburbs and all of Beaver County at present.
“We showed tonight that our hard work pays off just as well in Philadelphia as it did in my Republican-leaning congressional districts, where I beat three of Trump’s candidates in three years,” he said in a statement. “This is what all of Pennsylvania’s Democrats are looking for, and that’s exactly what our campaign is giving them.”
Philly Dem leaders say they chose Lamb over native Malcolm Kenyatta as well as Lt. Governor John Fetterman because they think Lamb can win. But, pressing the flesh didn’t hurt his cause.
“Lamb has campaigned,” said Brady. “He’s talked to every ward leader (and) to a lot of committee people. He’s been in the city a lot (while) Fetterman has done no campaigning whatsoever.”
Brady continued that “(Kenyatta) ‘did the work,’ but there are people who … didn’t think Malcolm could win. They didn’t think he had the money.”
Kenyatta had $285,000 on hand entering the year. In comparison, Fetterman had $5.3 million and Lamb had $3.0 million on hand starting 2022.
Lamb has been playing catch up, after entering the race after Fetterman. He has banked on support from PACs and big donors to amass his war chest.
He also picked up endorsements from some people who know Philly pretty well – State Senator Sharif Street and his father, former mayor John Street. Sharif Street says he appreciates Lamb making contact with city leaders and takes umbrage at those who say Lamb is cozying up to the party establishment.
“I think the criticism is because the other two candidates are talking to people over Twitter and the internet and [think] somehow Conor is talking to the establishment, where he’s really talking to ordinary people who are ordinary leaders in their city and trying to solve real problems,” said Street to WESA-FM.
“The only endorsement that truly counts is the one from voters on Election Day,” Kenyatta said in a statement. “We know that every election that wards go their own way and we’re excited to know that many wards and committee people will be a part of our big coalition in May. I have never been the candidate of the establishment— and that is not the path to winning this election.”