Pittsburgh Controller Lamb considers run for U.S. Senate
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City Controller Michael Lamb is weighing a bid for the Democratic nomination in next year's U.S. Senate race.
"I don't call myself a candidate at this point ... this is something I'm in the very preliminary stage of considering,'' said Mr. Lamb, who was elected to his city post in 2007.
So far, two Democrats have said they plan to enter the 2010 race for the seat being defended by Sen. Arlen Specter. Joe Torsella, the former president of the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, has formed a fund-raising committee and raised just under $600,000 in the first quarter of the year.
Earlier this week, state Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Dravosburg, said he also would enter the race. Auditor General Jack Wagner has not ruled out a bid for the seat but has shown only tepid interest, saying for months that he is more focused on the potential of a candidacy for governor.
Several other Democrats, all from the Philadelphia region, have been mentioned as potential candidates. They include state Rep. Josh Shapiro, of Montgomery County, and three members of Congress with adjoining districts -- Reps. Joe Sestak, Patrick Murphy and Allyson Schwartz.
Most of the early attention on the race has focused on Mr. Specter's challenge from former Rep. Pat Toomey, the fiscal conservative who nearly ousted him in the 2004 GOP primary.
Mr. Lamb was the last person to hold the post of Allegheny County prothonotary, heading the court record-keeping office that was eliminated in the row office consolidation approved by voters in 2005. He was an unsuccessful candidate for Pittsburgh mayor in the 2005 Democratic primary won by the late Mayor Bob O'Connor.
Before that, he was the campaign manager for the Home Rule Charter campaign that led to the county's shift away from a government headed by a board of commissioners to the current system of a county chief executive and county council.
Mr. Lamb said that he believed that any of the Democratic contenders would be favored to capture the Senate seat if the GOP were to nominate Mr. Toomey, but he contended that a Western Pennsylvania Democrat would have the best chance of defeating Mr. Specter if the five-term incumbent were to survive the Toomey primary challenge. He said his decision would turn in part on his fund-raising potential for the race, something he will assess in the next few months.
First Published April 23, 2009 4:57 pm