Joe Sestak to Challenge Specter in Democratic Primary

Talking Points Memo is reporting that Rep. Joe Sestak from Pennsylvania will be challenging Arlen Specter in the Democratic Primary.

Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) is privately telling supporters that he intends to run for Senate, TPMDC has confirmed.

“He intends to get in the race,” says Meg Infantino, the Congressman’s sister, who works at Sestak for Congress. “In the not too distant future, he will sit down with his wife and daughter to make the final decision.”

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.

Earlier today, a Sestak volunteer and contributor received a handwritten note from Sestak himself, announcing his intent to run and asking for a contribution.

You can see a scan of the note at the link. The most recent polling I could find on this matter basically indicates to me that Sestak is pretty much an unknown. That said, Specter is winning handily right now.

At this point, though, it’s too early to tell–polls are somewhat meaningless. My gut tells me that it’ll be close. A mid-term Primary is most likely going to be full of partisans who follow things closely. I don’t think that bodes well for Specter, but then again, I don’t know how Democratic partisans in Pennsylvania feel about Sestak, so it’s hard to call.

UPDATE (James Joyner)David Kurtz is complaining, “CNN picks up TPM’s Sestak scoop — makes no mention of TPM. ” Alas, Big Media steal from one another all the time; why would they have any compunction about stealing from a blog?   For that matter, many an “exclusive” really isn’t.

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, Congress, Public Opinion Polls, , , , , ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. just me says:

    Spector has name recognition and a lot of democrats have voted for him over the years, but what hurts Spector I think more than anything is that he probably isn’t going to be liberal enough for the base, so if he doesn’t move left and toe the party line on many issues, I think the democratic primary is just as bad for him as the republican one.

    And Spector has no real power or position to claim as a democrat since he has no seniority-so no matter what this likely isn’t good for him.