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. The source provided TPMDC a scan of the letter:
The note says, “I am writing you as especially dear supporters to let you know I intend to run for the U.S. Senate…my candidacy’s credibility will have much to do with my fundraising success by the 30 June FEC filing deadline at the end of this quarter. Would you help me bring the change for the future we Pennsylvanians need[?]”
Infantino confirms that the note is genuine and that “Joe Sestak has written a number of similar notes.”
Arlen Specter’s camp has no comment on this development for the time being. It looks like the netroots’ Draft Sestak effort may come to positive fruition. You can help Congressman Joe Sestak hit the ground running on a 2010 Senate campaign to make sure that a real Democrat wins the Party’s nomination and represents Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate by making a contribution to the Draft Sestak Fund on ActBlue. Stay tuned for further developments.
UPDATE: Congressman Sestak is on MSNBC’s The Ed Show right now (6:30pm ET), and he is confirming that it is his intention to enter the Senate race pending final family considerations (he noted his daughter’s health concerns). It sounds like this is 99% of the way to being a done deal.
UPDATE 2: Here is video of Congressman Sestak on CNN’s The Situation Room this evening, saying to Wolf Blitzer much the same of what he told Ed Schultz on The Ed Show:
UPDATE 3: Comment of the day, courtesy of TPM commenter “traitorjoe” (the moniker refers to Lieberman, not Sestak):
I’m voting for Arlen. No wait a minute… I never said I would be a loyal Arlen supporter. I didn’t say that!
i am glad sestak has decided to run at this point i well vote for him but may 2010 is a long time away. it puts incredible pressure on specter almost as much as toomey did. for these reasons1) he is on great terms w labor a key if not the key group for any campaign against specter
2 he is sitting on 3.5 million a pa senate nominee needs between 10 and 15 million and he is on his way.
3. he went to bat for Obama in the fall that well go a long way with obama fans i well mention it to my friends
4)he is from the east where the votes are i would love to see a poll of just delaware county d’s where Sestak is congressmen. i bet sestak is winning.
however all this could force specter’s hand
1) if he votes for cloture on efca it well switch labor which generally likes specter and all but guarenteed support if he voted for efca
2 he needs to get part of the credit for soltamayor’s confirmation especially if he defends her and goes after her critic with the energy he defended thomas.
if he does those things it well go a long way w pa dem voters and take care of his two biggest problems so sestak just put the ball in specters court
The argument Sestak can make in light of those things is a simple one.
Sestak can go before unions, and voters in general, and make a simple point: “Arlen has shown he’ll only do what’s convenient at the moment. If he thinks he needs to, he’ll sell you out. I’ll be for you no matter what.” People like candidates who are (or at least seem) genuine. Remember Bush vs Kerry and Obama vs Clinton/McCain. People can smell phony, and Arlen wreaks of it.
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if specter does what i said i think he wins. labor has had a long history w specter and well support him if he changes on efca. as far as smelling a phony I was dumb enough to believe the president on gay rights.
Don’t pass judgement just yet on Obama.
We’ve still got a ways to go. He means well towards us, he’s just tone deaf when it comes to our issues (and just between you, me, and whoever else reads this, most straight guys are).
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if specter was an unprincipled phony, he’d still be a republican
he didn’t have to vote for the stimulus package (in fact he really had to vote against it if he wanted to win the GOP primary). he never had to support a woman’t right to choose. he never had to do any of the things he’s been doing for 30 years that have pissed the PA GOP off.he will always be a contrarian pain in the ass, but obama and rendell decided this was a wise decision that would be a benefit to us, both in the short run and the long run, and I’m inclined to agree.
sestak may be great, but i find the argument that he’s a great democrat because he’s always been there for us to not be very credible. he’s only been in congress for 3 years.
vote against Obama’s budget, endorse a national sales tax, carry Bush’s water for eight years, vote against cramdown, change his position on EFCA and NOT backtrack when he changed parties, and he certainly didn’t have to come out in support of Norm Coleman. Your right, Obama and Rendell made the decision-a pair of party bosses (even if I do very much like on of them). Specter shouldn’t get a free pass, if, for no other reason, because Pennsylvania voters should be the decision makers in both the primary and the general elections.
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