Ryan tells colleagues Pennsylvania race is 'a wake-up call'

Associated Press News Politics 3 months ago
Conor Lamb

Conor Lamb, the Democratic candidate for the March 13 special election in Pennsylvania's 18th Congressional District celebrates with his supporters at his election night party in Canonsburg, Pa., early Wednesday, March 14, 2018. A razor's edge separated Lamb and Republican Rick Saccone early Wednesday in their closely watched special election in Pennsylvania, where a surprisingly strong bid by first-time candidate Lamb severely tested Donald Trump's sway in a GOP stronghold. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker Paul Ryan is privately warning Republicans of a "bit of a wake-up call" as Democrat Conor Lamb edged past the Republican in the Pennsylvania special election.

Ryan told House Republicans on Wednesday they need to "get to work," fundraise and not be caught off guard heading into a midterm campaign season where Democratic enthusiasm is real. That's according to two people familiar with Ryan's remarks, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly.

Publicly, Ryan was more upbeat, blaming the Pennsylvania outcome in a Trump-heavy district on Lamb's centrist views. Ryan says, "you're not going to see repeated" in November, as Republicans try to retain their majority.

Ryan urged colleagues to tout the GOP-passed tax plan and remind voters that Democrats opposed it.

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