Sestak makes an early announcement
May 14th, 2013
02:21 PM ET
11 months ago

Sestak makes an early announcement

Washington (CNN) - Former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak announced an exploratory committee for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, with a campaign titled "Leadership for a Better America."

The Pennsylvania senatorial race is in 2016, making this an unusually early declaration, but Sestak said that the formation of the exploratory committee is not just for his Senate bid, but also to address problems that currently affect Pennsylvanians.

Sestak told CNN's Political Editor Paul Steinhauser on Tuesday that the Senate leadership's habit of responding to crises instead of acting prior to prevent them is the biggest problem facing Pennsylvanians today and "prevents local state leaders from doing the best they can to serve people."

In making his announcement, Sestak said that he will not be running in the 2014 Pennsylvania gubernatorial race against Republican incumbent Tom Corbett but, "I'll fully support the Democratic nominee for governor. I think that's a priority."

The former 3-star Navy admiral was considered to be a leading candidate for the 2014 Pennsylvania gubernatorial race, with an April 2013 Quinnipiac University poll showing Sestak up 14% in favor of winning against the current Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett.

The announcement of his exploratory committee also includes the launch of Sestak's new website, JoeSestak.com, and a video shot outside Independence Hall. In the video posted on the website's donation page, Sestak emphasizes a lack of accountability for congressional leaders today.

"Today too few leaders are willing to be accountable for advancing our dream. When I left the Navy and entered Congress, I saw how this lack of accountability by our leaders was losing the trust of the American people. If you want to regain that trust, restore respect across the political divide to advance America, we need leaders who are both honest and accountable to the people for the American dream," Sestak said in the video.

Sestak ran unsuccessfully for Senate in 2010, beating incumbent Senator Arlen Specter in the primary but losing narrowly in the general election to Republican Pat Toomey. He said his motivation to run again in 2016 comes from his experience attending hundreds of local events across the state, such as veteran's posts, chambers of commerce, and lions clubs, speaking with constituents and learning that above all, "Pennsylvanians want a change in Senate leadership."

Sestak told CNN, "Pennsylvanians want leaders that don't wait until there's a crisis to resolve our challenges. They want a leader that has their back every day. And unfortunately in the Senate. . . our Senators tend to confront problems only when there is a crisis. . .rather than doing what should have been done before it occurred."

The former Pennsylvania representative was the highest ranking military official ever elected to Congress. According to his bio, Sestak served as President Clinton's director for defense policy on the National Security Council in the White House, the first director of the Navy's anti-terrorism unit after 9/11, and the deputy chief of naval operations responsible for the Navy's five year $350 billion warfare requirements.

Sestak's campaign is officially filed with the Federal Election Commission as an exploratory committee titled, "Friends of Joe Sestak,"


Filed under: Joe Sestak • Pat Toomey
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Hope he loses. The Dem socialists are really tearing this country down.

    May 14, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. DENNA

    "The Dem socialists are really tearing this country down." Really. Do you even know what a socialist is? If President Obama were a socialist, the stock market would not be constantly rising. LOL Ask any happy investor if President Obama is a socialist. America has not lost one single right that we had under Bush, not one. 20 children are shot to death and we still cannot get any decent gun law passed. A socialist would have taken care of that during his first term. Really, really, you Obama detractors are ridiculous.

    May 14, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    This is what happens when you vote extreme socialists into office.

    May 14, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof)

    This is what happens when you vote extreme socialists into office.
    -----------------
    Ahem. You're talking about a state with a Republican controlled state house and governer. This is exactly what happens when you vote extremists into office.

    May 14, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain

    @Rick McDaniel: "Hope he loses. The Dem socialists are really tearing this country down."

    Yeah, that's why all those Commie Wall Streeters are suffering so much, we've had positive private sector job growth every month since May 2009, and the housing market has stabilized and improving.

    May 14, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain

    @Liberal Sense (Or lack thereof): "This is what happens when you vote extreme socialists into office."

    President Obama's economic policy kept our country from going into a Great Depression; saved the American auto industry; has turned around the housing market; presided over record-breaking stock exchange highs; resulted in positive private sector job growth every month since May 2010.

    Why is all of this so offensive to you?

    May 14, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  7. just sayin

    pennsylvanians rejected him before. they will reject him again. he's to far to the left.

    May 14, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. Bessy

    @ Denna
    The idiots don't want to hear the truth. They have no idea what the hell Socialism even is. It is just something to complain about. People like " Rick McDaniel " and " Liberal Sense " probably don't even vote. They could even be the same person trying to act as though there are more negative bloggers on this site than there are. If they/he require any of our attention it is just to pity them for their lack of knowledge of what is really going on in the real world. Of course their bigotry also hinders them.

    May 14, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    just sayin wrote:

    pennsylvanians rejected him before. they will reject him again. he's to far to the left.
    ---------------------
    Reminds about the predictions about Obama 2012.

    The truth is that voters went to the polls and suffered through the long lines, thanks to new Voter ID laws in many states. Come 2014, the Republicans currently running half of those states will be voted out of office, starting with PA.

    May 14, 2013 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. Wilson

    Unless republicans screw it up reeeaaaallllly bad, dems no longer have a chance to take back the house and might even lose the senate in 2014, possibly even have little chance at the presidency in 2016.

    May 14, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Wilson

    Unless republicans screw it up reeeaaaallllly bad, dems no longer have a chance to take back the house and might even lose the senate in 2014, possibly even have little chance at the presidency in 2016
    ----------------–
    Hello? Republicans trounced the Democrats in 2010 and allowed themselves to be run over in 2012. They've already screwed it up reeeaaallllly bad. Most voters were horrified by the GOP Presidential debates. It doesn't matter if they hold 2 or 20 come 2016. The Republican Party has lost its' way, and their too far out there to realize it.

    May 14, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. Obama, the new Sgt. Schultz, I know NOTHING, I see NOTHING, I hear NOTHING....

    Rudy NYC
    The truth is that voters went to the polls and suffered through the long lines, thanks to new Voter ID laws in many states. Come 2014, the Republicans currently running half of those states will be voted out of office, starting with PA.
    ---

    What long lines? In Florida because of their 20 page ballot for too many referendum items? Please... enough lies.

    What voter ID laws? They were blocked from enforcing them but going forward thankfully IDs will be required. Election fraud is rampant thanks to the Democrats.

    May 14, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  13. California Gary

    You're dreaming Wilson......the actions taken by several states under total GOP control have awaken anyone that wasn't already paying attention. We have a clear view of what GOP leadership looks like, and it isn't pretty. In spite of the GOP's attempts to smear Obama and the Dems, the Dems will do just fine in 2014 and beyond.

    May 14, 2013 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. Wilson

    @Rudy NYC

    Wilson

    Unless republicans screw it up reeeaaaallllly bad, dems no longer have a chance to take back the house and might even lose the senate in 2014, possibly even have little chance at the presidency in 2016
    ------–
    Hello? Republicans trounced the Democrats in 2010 and allowed themselves to be run over in 2012. They've already screwed it up reeeaaallllly bad. Most voters were horrified by the GOP Presidential debates. It doesn't matter if they hold 2 or 20 come 2016. The Republican Party has lost its' way, and their too far out there to realize it.
    --------–
    You are forgetting that the average american has the attention span of a gnat, best memory for most recent events. These "most recent events" are what will do the damage for the 2014 election. I said "possibly" for 2016.

    May 14, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  15. Obama, the new Sgt. Schultz, I know NOTHING, I see NOTHING, I hear NOTHING....

    Will Joe Sestak crack down on the abortion clinics and start inspecting them regularly to make sure their are no more Gosnell monsters out there murdering babies?

    Didn't think so....

    May 14, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. Wilson

    @California Gary

    You're dreaming Wilson......the actions taken by several states under total GOP control have awaken anyone that wasn't already paying attention. We have a clear view of what GOP leadership looks like, and it isn't pretty. In spite of the GOP's attempts to smear Obama and the Dems, the Dems will do just fine in 2014 and beyond.
    ----------–
    Hello McFly, thump thump thump. Wake up and pay attention to what is going on around you Gary. Obama's administration is screwing up by the numbers. Obama is smearing himself, he needs no assistance from the GOP.

    May 14, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. BrianMemphis

    Sestak....knew him in the Navy and he was a crappy Admiral and looks like a crappy politician.

    May 14, 2013 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  18. Gurgyl

    This SOB caused not to pass PUBLIC OPTION in PPAC Act, Health care Law. Do you know. He threatened FILIBUSTER.

    May 14, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Rudy: "It doesn't matter if they hold 2 or 20 come 2016. The Republican Party has lost its' way, and their too far out there to realize it."

    Indeed they are, Rudy.

    /popcorn

    May 14, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. Gurgyl

    There is nothing wrong with socialism. Shut up. Look at STOCK MARKET. It shows we are CAPITALISTIC IN NATURE. I went to Europe. We are so much better than them. Stop bickering–all these thugs in CONGRESS AND SENATE better learn. These guys are bunch of uneducated ones we are electing–we are uneducated too so...

    May 14, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. Ghostwriter

    Sgt Schultz, here in Ohio, the republicans attempted to shorten voting times in democratic districts while increasing times in republican districts. I asked for a investigation and for any e-mails from the individuals involved.

    You betcha....we don't have short memories. Unfortunately, we also don't have a strong opponent.....

    May 14, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. don in albuquerque

    A runaway medical industry, corporations controling the gubmint, continous war............you guys are starting to make socialism look not too shabby. Oh, and, Sgt Schlizt, if you were to be able to keep up you would know that voter fraud amounts to less the 1/2 of 1%. And just about to a man those caught committing it in the last election were.....TADA>>>are you ready for this?????????Republicans.

    May 14, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  23. LOL

    Rudy NYC

    just sayin wrote:

    pennsylvanians rejected him before. they will reject him again. he's to far to the left.
    -------
    Reminds about the predictions about Obama 2012.

    The truth is that voters went to the polls and suffered through the long lines, thanks to new Voter ID laws in many states. Come 2014, the Republicans currently running half of those states will be voted out of office, starting with PA.
    ____________________________

    Just as it remind you about the special election that just took place.....who won even after they had an AFFAIR, hmmm I think he was a GOPer. Just shows you America is sick of you liberals!!

    May 14, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |