Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Now that Philadelphia civic leader Joe Torsella has exited the Senate primary, a small but growing group is pushing hard to convince a fairly well known name to jump into the race against Sen. Arlen Specter who recently switched his party affiliation. Organizers of the online "Draft Sestak" movement say the eastern Pennsylvania congressman is the best bet liberals have to put an early end to Specter's reelection campaign. Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg is the editor of political blog Young Philly Politics, and helped put together the "Draft Sestak" website. He says a strong primary challenge would force Specter to move to the left, “I think if he runs, at worst he will keep Specter sort of more in line with Democrat-Democratic positions on labor and health care and the economy.” He goes on to say, “I think if he gets out, all of a sudden Specter has the freedom to do whatever he wants to do.” Allegheny County Representative Bill Kortz says he's staying in the Senate race, but Urevick-Ackelsberg argues Sestak would have better fundraising abilities, and could give the longtime incumbent a real challenge. Governor Rendell, President Obama and other party leaders have all rallied behind Specter's primary campaign, saying the recently converted Democrat deserves another six-year term.