Arlen Specter to run for Senate in New York?
Stunning news from the NYTimes:
Buffeted by new polls showing him behind challenger Joe Sestak in the Democratic primary, Arlen Specter announced today that he will move to New York to run against fellow Senator Kristen Gillibrand.
"I am unwilling to have my 29-year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Democratic primary electorate," said Specter. "I have not represented the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. I have represented the values of the people of New York." As he said those words, Specter placed a New York Yankees cap on his head.
Pressed as to whether he will run as a Republican or a Democrat, Specter responded, "It depends on which primary I can win. We are currently taking a poll, and we'll make a decision soon."
Specter, after 29 years in the Senate as a Republican, switched to the Democratic party last April. Once leading the Democratic primary by twenty points, he is now behind by 5 as Joe Sestak blankets the airwaves with 2004 footage of Specter beaming while then-President Bush exclaims, "I can trust this man!"
Analysts says the move is unusual for a sitting Senator, but may be shrewd. "Specter hasn't convinced Pennsylvania Democrats that he is one of them, so why not give it a shot in New York? He can run against Gillibrand in a classic New York City vs upstate race while making an issue of her ties to scandal-ridden Democratic Governor David Paterson," said veteran Pennsylvania political observer Terry Madonna.
Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball current status for the New York and Pennsylvania Senate races is "cloudy."
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