Joe Sestak Will Primary Arlen Specter


Congressman Joe Sestak has decided that he will mount a primary challenge against newly-minted Democratic Senator Arlen Specter:

Wayne County, Pa. – A congressman from the Philadelphia suburbs will challenge U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter in the Democratic Senate primary.

In an interview with The Wayne Independent Wednesday morning, U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa.,confirmed his intention to run against Specter, a long-time Republican who switched to the Democratic party earlier this year.

I am going to get into the race against Arlen Specter … for senator,” said Sestak in his first media interview as part of a three-week tour through all of the Commonwealth’s 67 counties.

[Emphasis mine]

I’m glad to see Sestak enter the race against Specter, because no matter who emerges victorious from the Democratic primary we will be in better shape for it.

Honestly, I’m no fan of Arlen Specter–I would rather have an actual Democrat like Joe Sestak in that seat than someone who only became a Democrat to save his otherwise-doomed career.

Plus–as we learned when Pat Toomey was mounting a challenge against Republican Senator Specter–Arlen Specter is highly susceptible to partisan pressure.  It’s likely that–if he believes Sestak has a shot at beating him–he’s going to start towing the Democratic line more often in order to ensure he wins the primary.

In other words, no matter who wins, we all win–either we end up with a more progressive Democratic candidate or we pressure Specter into being a more progressive Democratic candidate.

So I say welcome to the race, Congressman Sestak.