August 23rd, 2010
01:21 PM ET
12 years ago

Republican Hagel backs Sestak in PA Senate race

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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.

Both Hagel and Sestak served in the military. Hagel was twice wounded in Vietnam, and Sestak, a three-star Admiral, is the highest-ranking military officer ever elected to Congress.

Hagel is not the first moderate to endorse Sestak. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed the Pennsylvania congressman earlier this month.

Sestak and his Republican opponent Pat Toomey are locked in a tight battle for the Senate seat currently occupied by Sen. Arlen Specter. Sestak topped Specter in the Democratic primary.

Filed under: 2010 • Chuck Hagel • Joe Sestak • Pennsylvania
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Don't vote the party, vote for the best person to do the job. As a Democrat I have never voted a straight Democrat ticket because I do my research as many people don't. We could all learn a lot from Hagel.

    August 23, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. J.Crobuzon

    Good; we need less partisanship and more sense.

    August 23, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. CR

    Hagel is one of the very few sane Republicans left.

    August 23, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. Former Republican, but never again!

    I'm a former moderate Republican who got tired of the divisive tactics of the party. The right wing crazies have totally hijacked the party of Lincoln. I'll never vote Republican again!

    August 23, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. Nick

    Why would anyone in PA care about the endorsement of a former Senator from Nebraska?

    August 23, 2010 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. Neil the carpenter

    Gosh,for some reason, I just wish more of this kind of thing happened. Although I would never seek an endorsement from Mitch McConnell, he and Specter are the reason we need term limits in the House and Senate, just like the Presidency.

    August 23, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  7. Dale callihan

    This may put joe over the top

    August 23, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  8. Willa-PA

    Good for him...I always like Chuck...In time, people will realize who is for this country and the middle class in particular.

    August 23, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  9. Gar

    Sestak is a good man but too much a liberal Obama Dem.

    1. We need to cut spending drastically

    2. We need to extend the Bush tax cuts on people making less than $250K

    3. No more bailouts, no more stimulus, in fact stop spending the stimulus money

    4. Get out of Iraq and Afghanistan

    5. Stop Iran from getting the nuke

    6. Don't close Gitmo, try those terrorist in military tribunals

    7. Stop promising people free stuff (including healthcare)

    8. Union voting should be secret (no card check)

    9. Start a "buy american" campaign.

    I think that for now we need more Republicans in office to balance out the Democrats

    August 23, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. Byrd

    Democrats have always assisted in supporting republican initiatives, but in recent years, at least since the archaic times of Gingrich and Reagan, republicans always choose the opposition whether they actually agree with it or not – and this is the primary reason they've rightfully been labeled as the party of NO – they would rather see the country fail than the Democrats succeed in anything. Is this a first sign that their intelligence level is inching upward? I doubt it, but it's nevertheless a good sign that cogent neural activity does exist in the brain of some conservatives.

    August 23, 2010 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  11. billp

    I would have voted for Hagel if he'd run for President even though I don't agree with many of his positions, but he has integrity and is not a hater. Too bad his own party called him a traitor after his criticism of Bush's war in Iraq.

    August 23, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. Jimbo (the real one)

    Wow! An intelligent politician who endorses a candidate and not the party he belongs to. Instead of being applauded I am guessing Mr. Hagel will be villified by the Birthers, Tea Partiers, Wing Nuts and other "Red State" extremeists that seem to comment so often on this forum. Bring it on...!

    August 23, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. jim

    Nothing new here.Hagel calls himself a Republican but most people realize he's really a democrat in masquerade.!! Makes for an interesting story for CNN to use against republicans.

    August 23, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  14. Austin

    Contrary to popular belief, there are principled people in both parties trying to do right by the voters. When they discover they agree with what another stands for, why shouldn't they be allowed to endorse one another from across the aisle?

    August 23, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. JHeron

    Chuck Hagel was one of the few remaining moderate Republicans that I respected even if I didn't always agree with him. Too bad the party doesn't have more members like him.

    August 23, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. Dale callihan

    This endorsement shows that joe sestak is a moderate and this endorsement should gain him a few extra points and put him over the top

    August 23, 2010 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  17. RJ

    Finally; a sensible Republican. Good pick.

    August 23, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. All the news that is fit to omit

    I actually find some good with both of these people, I am conservative by nature, but BOTH of these two moderate their beliefs, TOO BAD most politicians don't MODERATE at all anymore.

    Sestak told the truth about Oweblamo and Clinton and the "job offer" and I hope Issa persues the WHOLE TRUTH.

    I served in the Navy as did Sestak, so he get's kudos right off the top from me.

    I still want the whole truth from Liar former and Liar present.

    August 23, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  19. rdepontb

    "Republican buys a round at Starbucks...Causes stir." Go get'em, CNN!

    August 23, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. Bob Dog

    I love people like Chuck Hagel, who care more about the country, than political party BS.

    Its not difficult to see why he would have trouble in the new republican party, where they eat their own young.

    "Run, Sarah, Run!!"

    August 23, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. Pragmatic

    We need more people putting America & Americans before blind party loyalty ... and those screaming "rino" are the truly "unpatriotic!"

    Even Florida's Rubio is starting to sound sensible (since he's running far behind Crist) ... saying things like "A wiser course for Republicans, is offering an alternative, not simply being the angry opposition" and trying to turn his candidacy into one built more on ideas than outrage, ...

    Which is totally fascinating since the same point of view is what got Charlie Crist kicked out of the GOP – not "pure" enough ...

    August 23, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. True American

    See folks, this is the kind of bipartisan leadership we need to fix OUR COUNTRY!

    August 23, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. Blue Stater in a Red State

    I'm from Nebraska, and I miss Chuck Hagel. Sure he was a member of the Republican party, but he was libertarian with his views. He also had an independent mind, whose intellect reminded me of Reagan. Kerrey was also a brilliant senator as well. The reason why he didn't run for another term is insane, but his two terms stated that he was no ordinary politician, he served the people and made his promises.

    The two men that serve in my state now are jokes, and both represent what is wrong with American politics today. I never know where Nelson stands on issues, and Johanns is a carpetbagger that just loves to say No. Chuck Hagel, please come back, we miss you!

    August 23, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  24. Chris

    Chuck Hagel is a great leader, having his support will help Joe Sestak win this election.

    August 23, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  25. terry,va

    Just trying to get an Obummie appointment hey Hagel?

    August 23, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
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