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Polls open in western Pennsylvania

(AP) – Polls are open in western Pennsylvania as voters settle a high profile special congressional race being watched for clues to the upcoming midterm elections.

Republican Rick Saccone is trying to stave off an upset by Democrat Conor Lamb in a Pittsburgh-area district that backed President Donald Trump by 20 percentage points in 2016.

Former Republican Rep. Tim Murphy had represented the area. He resigned last fall.

Democrats need to flip 24 Republican-held seats for a House majority, and they’d not been counting on Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District.

Trump has put his full force behind Saccone.

Lamb has a run as a moderate with considerable union backing. That’s a key group in this industrial region. Lamb has also promised not to back Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi for House speaker.

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