Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (CNN) - With little fanfare, Rep. Joe Sestak walked into Mount Ephraim Baptist Church on Sunday and quickly headed for a pew near the back of this African-American church.
Few of the 70 members of the congregation would have noticed the congressman if not for the handful of reporters who hustled in right behind him to record this moment of time-honored Democratic campaigning: a plea for the black vote.
Sestak, a two-term congressman hoping to defeat Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter in Tuesday's Senate primary, sat alone in the pew for 30 minutes as a sermon was delivered and a family welcomed to the front. And then it was time for the retired Navy admiral turned congressman to make his pitch.
Sestak highlighted his military career; his ties to former President Clinton; his young daughter's triumph over brain cancer; and his pledge to work hard on issues of importance to the African-American community. He closed by asking church members for their support.