September 3rd, 2010
02:34 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama going to bat for Sestak

President Obama is going to hold a fundraiser for Joe Sestak.
President Obama is going to hold a fundraiser for Joe Sestak.

(CNN) - Time - and apparently campaign money - can heal old wounds.

Two Democratic officials confirm President Obama is headed to Philadelphia on September 20 to host a fundraiser for the Senate campaign of Democrat Rep. Joe Sestak, who survived a nasty primary battle that featured Obama backing incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter (D) over the Congressman.

Top White House officials, including Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, were enmeshed in a huge controversy over whether they used former President Bill Clinton to dangle before Sestak an advisory job in the executive branch in exchange for him dropping out of the primary contest.

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Filed under: 2010 • Joe Sestak • Pennsylvania • President Obama
August 23rd, 2010
01:21 PM ET
4 years ago

Republican Hagel backs Sestak in PA Senate race

Rep. Joe Sestak is picking up the endorsement of former Sen. Chuck Hagel.
Rep. Joe Sestak is picking up the endorsement of former Sen. Chuck Hagel.

Washington (CNN) – Rep. Joe Sestak, the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nominee, is picking up an endorsement from an unlikely source: a former Republican senator from the state of Nebraska.

Chuck Hagel, a former two-term Republican senator, will announce his endorsement of Sestak on Tuesday, Sestak spokesman Jonathon Dworkin confirmed to CNN.

Hagel, who did not seek reelection in 2008 and was rumored to be a candidate for several top White House jobs after choosing not to seek the Republican presidential nomination, will announce his endorsement at two events scheduled for Tuesday in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

At Tuesday's events, Hagel is expected to "speak about Joe's independence and focus on doing what's right not for Wall Street or Washington special interests but for Pennsylvania's working families," the Sestak campaign said in a statement.

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Filed under: 2010 • Chuck Hagel • Joe Sestak • Pennsylvania
August 18th, 2010
05:55 PM ET
4 years ago

RNC asks DOJ for investigation of Sestak affair

 The Republican National Committee is asking the Justice Department to investigate efforts last year by the White House to convince Rep. Joe Sestak to abandon his Senate campaign.
The Republican National Committee is asking the Justice Department to investigate efforts last year by the White House to convince Rep. Joe Sestak to abandon his Senate campaign.

(CNN) – The Republican National Committee urged the Justice Department Wednesday to investigate efforts last year by the White House to convince Rep. Joe Sestak to abandon his Senate campaign, an attempt by the GOP to breathe new life into an embarrassing episode for the Obama administration.

RNC Chairman Michael Steele made the request in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, a week after former President Clinton denied that he tried to convince Sestak to leave the Democratic primary at the behest of the White House.

Clinton's account appears to contradict a White House internal investigation that was outlined in a publicly released May memorandum.

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Filed under: 2010 • Joe Sestak • Pennsylvania • RNC
August 13th, 2010
12:38 PM ET
4 years ago

DSCC launches first ad of general election–and a war of words

The DSCC released its first ad of the general election on Friday in Pennsylvania.
The DSCC released its first ad of the general election on Friday in Pennsylvania.

(CNN) – The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is out Friday with its first television ad of the general election, thrusting itself into the deadlocked Senate battle between Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak and former Republican Rep. Pat Toomey.

The 30-second commercial calls Toomey "a Wall Street wheeler-dealer" and says the financial industry is "funding his campaign."

"…Millionaire Toomey helped pioneer the use of derivatives – he called them an 'enormous good,'" the ad's narrator says. "But they wound up nearly destroying our economy."

"Pat Toomey spent his whole life either working on Wall Street or working for Wall Street's interests," DSCC national press secretary Deirdre Murphy said in a statement. "The people of Pennsylvania should have a Senator who stands up for them, not the corporate special interests."

Read Toomey's response after the jump:
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Filed under: 2010 • DSCC • Joe Sestak • Pat Toomey • Pennsylvania
August 10th, 2010
07:33 PM ET
4 years ago

War of words between Sestak and Toomey continues

 Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak (left) and Republican Pat Toomey (right) each appeared Tuesday on CNN’s John King USA.
Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak (left) and Republican Pat Toomey (right) each appeared Tuesday on CNN’s John King USA.

(CNN) – The heated Senate race between Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak and Republican Pat Toomey raged in two interviews Tuesday as each candidate blamed the other for the ongoing economic downturn.

The race is locked in a dead heat. A Quinnipiac University poll of Pennsylvania voters conducted last month indicated that race was tied at 43 percent, with 12 percent undecided.

Speaking to CNN's John King, Sestak accused Toomey, a former six-term congressman, of advocating for policies that crippled the U.S. economy.

" … When I came to Congress my first year is when the recession began I was also a damage control officer. Those six months after President Bush left the White House, we lost three million jobs because of the policies he and Congressman Toomey – my opponent – had pursued."

But Toomey argued that tax cuts drive the economy.

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Filed under: 2010 • JKUSA • Joe Sestak • John King USA • Pat Toomey • Pennsylvania
August 4th, 2010
04:46 PM ET
4 years ago

A new twist in the Clinton-Sestak story

 Former President Bill Clinton will campaign for Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Joe Sestak next week.
Former President Bill Clinton will campaign for Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Joe Sestak next week.

(CNN) – What a difference a year makes.

Last summer the White House enlisted former President Bill Clinton to help in trying to convince Rep. Joe Sestak to not mount a Democratic primary challenge to Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who had just switched from the Republican to the Democratic party.

Fast forward to the summer of 2010 and Sestak is the party's Senate nominee and Clinton will now head to Pennsylvania to campaign with the former Navy admiral.

Sestak's campaign announced Wednesday that Clinton will headline a Sestak rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania next Tuesday afternoon. The same day Clinton is scheduled to be the main attraction at a fundraiser for Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan, the Democratic nominee in the state's 15th congressional district. Callahan faces off against incumbent GOP Rep. Charlie Dent in November.

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Filed under: Bill Clinton • Joe Sestak • Pennsylvania
August 3rd, 2010
09:00 AM ET
4 years ago

This day in Ticker history: Sestak expected to announce Specter challenge Tuesday

Editor's Note: The following story appeared on the CNN Political Ticker on August 3, 2009.

Rep. Joe Sestak is expected to officially declare his candidacy for the Democratic Senate nomination.
Rep. Joe Sestak is expected to officially declare his candidacy for the Democratic Senate nomination.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Rep. Joe Sestak is expected to officially declare his candidacy for the Democratic Senate nomination Tuesday, setting up a primary season showdown with incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter, a source close to Sestak confirmed to CNN Monday.

Sestak's campaign said in a Twitter message Monday morning that the Philadelphia-area congressman will be making a "major announcement" Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. The announcement, which will take place at a VFW hall in his district, will be webcast live on his campaign site.

A Quinnipiac poll late last month indicated that Specter, who's received the public backing of President Obama and party leaders since his defection from the Republican Party this spring, had a 55 percent to 23 percent advantage in a hypothetical Democratic primary matchup – though his 20-point edge over prospective GOP challenger Pat Toomey had vanished.





July 14th, 2010
11:24 AM ET
4 years ago

Poll: Senate battle in Pennsylvania deadlocked

A new poll has the race for Pennsylvania’s  open Senate seat locked at 43 points each for Democrat Joe Sestak (left) and Republican Pat Toomey (right).
A new poll has the race for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat locked at 43 points each for Democrat Joe Sestak (left) and Republican Pat Toomey (right).

(CNN) – A new poll indicates it's dead even in the battle for Pennsylvania's open Senate seat.

According to a Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday, 43 percent of Pennsylvania voters back Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democratic nominee, with an equal number supporting former Rep. Joe Toomey, the Republican nominee, and 12 percent unsure.

Toomey held a 42 to 40 percent advantage in Quinnipiac's last poll, which was conducted in May.

Sestak, a former Navy admiral and current two-term congressman from southeast Pennsylvania, beat incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter in May's Democratic primary. Specter, a five-term senator, switched parties from Republican to Democrat in the spring of last year. At the time of the party switch, he cited the difficulty in winning the Republican primary against Toomey as a factor. Besides his service in Congress, Toomey is also the former head of the Club for Growth, a limited-government and anti-tax organization.

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Filed under: 2010 • Joe Sestak • Pat Toomey • Pennsylvania
July 13th, 2010
05:06 PM ET
4 years ago

Toomey tops Sestak with banner 2nd quarter

Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey raised $3.1 million in the 2nd quarter.
Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey raised $3.1 million in the 2nd quarter.

Washington (CNN) – Former Rep. Pat Toomey raised $3.1 million toward his Pennsylvania Senate bid in the 2nd quarter of 2010, his campaign said Tuesday.

That represents the Republican's biggest haul to date, and a significant increase from the $2.3 million reported by his campaign in the 1st quarter.

Toomey's Democratic opponent, Rep. Joe Sestak, brought in $2 million over the same period, and has a little over $2 million cash on hand, Sestak campaign spokesman Jonathon Dworkin confirmed to CNN.

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Filed under: 2010 • Joe Sestak • Pat Toomey • Pennsylvania
June 18th, 2010
01:38 PM ET
4 years ago

PA Republican chairman requests Sestak-related records

The head of the Pennsylvania GOP wants to know what Gov. Ed Rendell said to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel during discussions they had about Joe Sestak.
The head of the Pennsylvania GOP wants to know what Gov. Ed Rendell said to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel during discussions they had about Joe Sestak.

(CNN) - The head of the Republican Party in Pennsylvania Friday formally requested records that might explain how members of the Obama administration sought to convince Rep. Joe Sestak to abandon his Senate campaign last month.

State GOP Chairman Rob Gleason penned a letter to Pennsylvania's Agency Open Records Officer Mily Maiden seeking "all cell phone, landline and email/written correspondence, sent/received by the Governor [Ed Rendell] or his office, regarding any job offer or other enticement provided to Congressman Joe Sestak or any other Pennsylvania primary candidate, by the White House."

Read Gleason's letter here [pdf]

Rendell told Fox News on June 2 that he and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel "had discussions" about how to persuade Sestak not to challenge incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter.

"We very much wanted to persuade Congressman Sestak to stay in the House and run for his seat, 'cause he would have won his seat easily and now that's a seat that's up for grabs," Rendell told Sean Hannity. "So I know that the administration did not want to offer him a job that would have meant he would have to leave Congress."

But Gleason wants to know more.

"How many discussions?", Gleason said in a statement. "Were there email exchanges, and, if so, what was suggested?"

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Filed under: 2010 • Ed Rendell • Joe Sestak • Pennsylvania • Rahm Emanuel
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