Sestak likely to announce run for Specter seat today

Rep. Joe Sestak: Underdog
Rep. Joe Sestak: Underdog
Posted: August 04, 2009

Republican-turned-Democrat U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter will likely face a formal challenge in Pennsylvania's Democratic primary.

U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, from Delaware County, a former Navy vice admiral serving his second term in Congress, has scheduled five campaign stops throughout the state today.

At the first, at a VFW hall in his district in Folsom, he's expected to announce his candidacy.

The announcement would not be a surprise.

Sestak, 57, has already heavily campaigned in the state.

The five-term Specter severed his decades-long ties to the Republican Party in April.

He said, in part, it was to avoid a primary challenge from former Rep. Pat Toomey, who nearly beat him in the 2004 primary.

Sestak's entrance would create tension within the Democratic Party as President Obama and Gov. Rendell have pledged support to Specter.

Specter, 79, declined to comment.

A recent Quinnipiac University poll showed Specter and Toomey in a close race, while Specter had a large lead over Sestak.

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