May 17th, 2010
05:58 PM ET
4 years ago

Specter, Sestak court African-American vote in Pennsylvania

Sen. Arlen Specter was in Philadelphia Sunday courting the African-American vote. So was his primary challenger, Rep. Joe Sestak.
Sen. Arlen Specter was in Philadelphia Sunday courting the African-American vote. So was his primary challenger, Rep. Joe Sestak.

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.

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Filed under: 2010 • Arlen Specter • Joe Sestak • Pennsylvania
May 17th, 2010
10:43 AM ET
4 years ago

In defeat, Sestak would fall in line to try to beat Toomey in Senate contest

Sestak says he will do all he can to defeat the likely Republican nominee if he fails to beat Sen. Arlen Specter in the Tuesday primary.
Sestak says he will do all he can to defeat the likely Republican nominee if he fails to beat Sen. Arlen Specter in the Tuesday primary.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak expressed confidence Sunday that he would win the Senate Democratic nomination, but vowed to do all he can to defeat the likely Republican nominee if he fails to beat Sen. Arlen Specter in the Tuesday primary.

Sestak would not say he would endorse Specter, but rather noted he would "do anything to make sure we beat Pat Toomey," in the November general election. Toomey is the former GOP congressman, whose nomination for his party's candidacy is all but a formality.

"As I said, I come from a background in the military where the prospect of winning is the only, only option you have," Sestak told CNN in an interview

after addressing the congregation at the Mount Ephraim Baptist Church. "But I'll do anything to make sure that Pat Toomey doesn't win. But we're gonna win. Pat Toomey is gonna lose."

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Filed under: 2010 • Arlen Specter • Joe Sestak • Pat Toomey • Pennsylvania