April 20th, 2010
12:03 PM ET
5 years ago

Pennsylvania Democrats release dueling ads

Rep. Joe Sestak has put out his first television ad in the 2010 Pennsylvania Senate race.
Rep. Joe Sestak has put out his first television ad in the 2010 Pennsylvania Senate race.

Washington (CNN) – Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak has put out his first television ad in the Pennsylvania Senate race. The spot, which casts Sestak in a positive light, is being greeted by a harsh ad from his opponent.

Sestak is battling Sen. Arlen Specter for the Democratic nomination. The primary is May 18.

In Sestak's 60-second spot, which began airing across Pennsylvania Tuesday, the two-term congressman introduces himself to voters who may not know him statewide.

"Meet Joe Sestak," the ad begins. It goes on to highlight the congressman's 31 years in the Navy, his rise to become a three-star admiral and notes that Sestak is "not a career politician."

While not mentioning Specter by name, the ad appears to slam the senator.

"If we want real change in Washington, we can't keep sending the same career politicians to represent us," Sestak said in the ad.

In a statement to CNN, Sestak's campaign spokesman laid out what he said was "a clear choice for Pennsylvania."

"Someone who dedicated his career to advancing the GOP agenda and switched parties to try to save his own job, or someone driven by Democratic values," Sestak spokesman Jonathon Dworkin said.

Last spring, Specter switched parties from Republican to Democrat. He was first elected to the Senate in 1980.

Specter is not letting his opponent's new ad go unanswered.

In the senator's campaign commercial, also released Tuesday, an announcer says "Joe Sestak – relieved of duty in the Navy for creating a 'poor command climate.'" The ad also accused Sestak of missing 127 votes in the House, "the worst attendance of any Pennsylvania congressman."

In a separate statement sent to CNN, Dworkin fired back at Specter.

"It's disappointing that after 30 years in Washington, Arlen Specter can't run on his own accomplishments," he said. "So while Joe Sestak is running a positive TV ad about his accomplishments and his agenda for changing Washington, Specter has launched a Republican-style negative campaign in his TV ads."

According to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, Specter holds a 53 percent to 32 percent advantage over Sestak in the Democratic primary matchup, with 15 percent undecided.


Filed under: 2010 • Joe Sestak • Pennsylvania
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Sue

    No matter which Democrat wins the primary--they are NOT going to win the election.

    The Republican Toomey leads both of them by double digits-–and Toomey will be the new Senator of Pennsylvania.

    April 20, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  2. SocialismBad

    I'd never heard anything about Sestak being relieve of duty. He always comes across as a straight shooter and honest.

    It looks like the DemocRATS have a choice between bad and worse....

    April 20, 2010 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  3. Michael Shea

    I believe that Joe Sestak should be the next US Senator from Pennslyvania. He has proven himself as a "Progressive" in Congress and as aformer Navy Admiral brings strong credentials regarding defense and national security issues.

    Senator Spector is an example of a career politician who should move on and share his experiences in the Senate as a professor speaking to younger people. Senator Spector was a moderating voice when he was a Republican Senator. He is sadly, a part of a bygone era when Republicans worked with Democrats to make good things happen.

    Joe Sestak is a fighter who will help get things done in the US Senate.

    April 20, 2010 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. Chuck in CSG

    I Love it when they eat their own.

    April 20, 2010 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Sestak has to hope that the anti-incumbant feeling helps him. Specter has a lot more money and some big endorsements as well.

    April 20, 2010 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  6. Operation Crush Rush

    Bye Arlen,now you can go to your home country and retire.

    April 20, 2010 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  7. Pennsylvania Citizen

    I have seen Mr. Sestak's ad. How can you be pro life and pro gun?
    Another hypocrite from the right.

    April 20, 2010 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. AmerFirst

    Go Joe Sestak !!! It's time they threw Arlen Specter out. He's nothing but a crybaby who is more interested in elections than in the American people!!

    April 20, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    That was a low blow Arlen. It does sound a bit "republicanish" though. Why did you have to smear the man's Navy career like that? smh

    April 20, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. RunForTheHills

    You can expect nothing else from Specter. 30 years in office and PA has done nothing but decline across all demographics except unemployment and crime the entire time.

    April 20, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. Wisconsonite

    Go Sestak!!! Spector is nothing but another opportunistic politician who will change his stripes whenever he wants to dupe voters!

    April 20, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. Nini

    We still need to know who offered this man a job for not running.

    stop covering up for this administration and tell us the truth.
    Larry king has Levi Johnson on his program over 3 times, Cnn covers Tiger like there is no tomorrow but finding out if the White house offered Sestak a job so he wouldn't run, was not worth covering!

    Where are your priorities?

    April 20, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  13. Disgusted with Spector

    Turncoats of any color are opportunists. Spector saw he would lose as a Repug, so he switched. Please show him he can't win as a Democrat either. Sestak has great credentials!

    April 20, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. DAVE

    Neither candidate will beat Pat Toomey.

    April 20, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |