Thursday, May 28, 2009
Suburban Philadelphia Congressman Joe Sestak says he’s preparing to challenge incumbent Arlen Specter in next year’s Democratic senate primary. The two-term Congressman says he intends to enter the race, but adds he’s putting off an official announcement so that he can discuss the decision a bit more with his family. Democratic grassroots activists have been urging Sestak to enter the primary and challenge Specter’s commitment to liberal issues. Sestak says Specter’s vote against President Obama’s budget was a major factor in his decision to run. He says, “This is now how he had indicated he might vote, for the good of Pennsylvanians. Because in that budget is exactly what we need for the educational opportunity [and] for the energy security.” Specter switched to the Democratic Party in late April, and was immediately supported by President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Governor Rendell and other party leaders. Potential Democratic candidates Josh Shapiro and Joe Torsella have backed away from the race since Specter’s switch, but Sestak says party leaders “anointing” Specter as the Democratic nominee concerned him.