With another potential Democratic Senate candidate dropping out of the 20100 primary, online liberal activists say they're ramping up efforts to get Congressman Joe Sestak to challenge incumbent Arlen Specter next year.
Now that Philadelphia civic leader Joe Torsella has exited the Senate primary, organizers of the online "Draft Sestak" movement say the eastern Pennsylvania congressman is the best bet liberals have of defeating Specter's reelection campaign. Specter switched parties last month and announced he would run in the Democratic primary next year.
Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg is the editor of political blog YoungPhillyPolitics, 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. Judges, the core stuff. I think if he gets out, all of the sudden Specter has the freedom to do whatever he wants to do."
Allegheny County State 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. According to Specter, Mr. Obama indicated he would come to Pennsylvania to campaign for him.