Democrat Joe Sestak to Run against Arlen Specter for Senate
Democrat Rep. Joe Sestak from Pennsylvania has confirmed he intends to run for Senate in the 2010 Democratic primary, against former Republican Arlen Specter.
The move would constitute a primary challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA), who intends to run for re-election in 2010, after having switched parties earlier this year.
Sestak is coming from a second term in Pennsylvania's seventh congressional district. With $3 million worth of funds and an esteemed background in the military, he was a strong candidate for the Democrats until Specter crossed the floor to become the state's Democratic Senate incumbent.
Suspicious of Specter's motives, and unhappy that his once clear path to the nomination was suddenly obstructed, Sestak turned up the temperature on both the Senate's newest Democrat and the party establishment, which wasted no time throwing their support behind the supposed incumbent.
Sestak has already begun soliciting donors in the state and giving notice of his intention to run for Senate. It may be a difficult campaign for him as Specter is popular in Pennsylvania and has the support of President Obama and the Whitehouse in addition to the state party, but Sestak remains optimistic.
"As important as the President's endorsement is, and who wouldn't want President Obama's endorsement, at the end of the day I don't believe that most voters vote because someone else endorsed someone," Sestak told Greg Sargent.
He's equally undeterred by the possibility that Specter will cut a deal with major unions whereby he supports a compromise on EFCA, and they endorse him. Sestak says he plans to run regardless.