Conor Lamb can thank organized labor if he wins in Tuesday’s special election against Republican Rick Saccone.
Over 200 coal miners, family members and local activists crowded into a hall at the Greene County fairgrounds Sunday afternoon in Pennsylvania’s rural southwest corner.
The attendees, many of them retirees in their 60s and 70s clad in the United Mine Workers of America’s signature camouflage-patterned regalia, were there for one last get-out-the-vote rally for Democrat Conor Lamb.
But the raucous atmosphere at the rally felt more like a church revival service than a political gathering. And while everyone present was there to support Lamb, the main event was Cecil Roberts, the charismatic preacher and president of the UMWA labor union.
After ascending the stage to chants of “U-M-W-A,” Roberts delivered a nearly 30-minute sermon in which he managed to portray a vote for Lamb in Tuesday’s special election as a sacred and patriotic act in keeping with the godly social justice tradition of Moses, Gandhi, UMWA founder John Lewis, Martin Luther King Jr. and the recently victorious West Virginia teachers’ strike.