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Democrat Beth Tarasi drops bid for Congress, will support Lamb against Rothfus

April 5, 2018 GMT

Sewickley attorney Beth Tarasi said Tuesday she will no longer seek the Democratic nomination for Congress in a district northwest of Pittsburgh and will support candidate Conor Lamb instead.

The Democratic nominee will likely face incumbent U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus, R-Sewickley, in November.

Tarasi said the new congressional district map created by the state Supreme Court contributed to her decision to drop her campaign. It made Lamb a resident of the newly created 17th District, which includes Beaver County and parts of Allegheny and Butler counties.

“It became clear after the extraordinary circumstances of the special election in (the existing 18th District that) Conor Lamb is a strongly supported candidate, who in the new (17th District) would be a very worthy opponent for Mr. Rothfus,” Tarasi said in a statement.

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The state Supreme Court redrew boundaries for Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts after ruling that the old map was unconstitutionally gerrymandered to benefit Republicans.

Lamb defeated Republican Rick Saccone in this month’s 18th District special election to serve out the remainder of former U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy’s term, which ends in January.

Lamb won the Beaver County Democratic Party’s endorsement for the upcoming 17th District race in a lopsided vote last week, with Tarasi coming in second. Also in the race is Ray Linsenmayer, an energy consultant and local Democratic activist from McCandless.

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676, wventeicher@tribweb.com or via Twitter @wesventeicher.