WASHINGTON (CNN) – Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak told CNN Wednesday he intends to challenge Sen. Arlen Specter in a Pennsylvania Democratic primary pending a discussion with his wife and young daughter.
"I personally have made a decision that I intend to get in this race with one other item," Sestak told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room. "I haven't … had the time to sit down with my eight-year-old daughter or my wife to make sure that we are all ready to get in."
Earlier Wednesday, CNN's Candy Crowley confirmed Sestak has informed supporters he intends to run and is seeking to fundraise for the bid ahead of the second quarter filing deadline in June.
In his interview with CNN, Sestak said he is not deterred by the fact President Obama and congressional Democrats have already aligned behind Specter.
"I was disappointed that the Washington political establishment had decided to anoint someone from Pennsylvania, and so I said I would wait and listen," he said. "And I spent the last weeks going around Pennsylvania to see if others felt like me."
Sestak also said he has not received a telephone call from White House officials asking him not to run. But the congressman added that he has traded messages with New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, who oversees the Senate Democratic campaign efforts.
The Pennsylvania congressman also gave a potential preview of how he might take aim at Specter, the longtime Republican who switched to the Democratic Party earlier this month.
"It's whether Arlen will fight for the right issues,” Sestak said. “Democrat or Republican. He helped derail health care plans without an alternative in the '90s. Maybe he's changed, but I'm not sure we can take that chance. We have to ask the question, ‘Will he be with the right policy that our president presently has put out there to retool our economy and health care and education through 2016.’"