Saturday, August 23, 2014
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Election Day: Joe Sestak Vs. Pat Toomey For U.S. Senate

The race to replace U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter has become the true ideological contest in Pennsylvania this year, matching up two candidates who take very different approaches to governing.

Election Day: Joe Sestak Vs. Pat Toomey For U.S. Senate

U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak [left] takes on former U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey in the race for the U.S. Senate today.
U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak [left] takes on former U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey in the race for the U.S. Senate today.

The race to replace U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter has become the true ideological contest in Pennsylvania this year, matching up two candidates who take very different approaches to governing.  U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, a retired three-star admiral in the U.S. Navy and Delaware County Democrat, has been a solid supporter of President Obama's policies in Congress.  Former U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey, a former Wall Street trader and Lehigh County Republican, has criticized Sestak's votes on key issues like health care reform and improving financial regulations.

Both men hold a certain independent credibility that may prove crucial in this year of anti-incumbent fervor.  Sestak turned down White House efforts to lure him out of the primary election against Specter, who jumped from the Republicans to Democrats last year.  Toomey, as head of the conservative Club For Growth, helped fund and promote GOP candidates who took on party members deemed too moderate.

A Quinnipiac University Poll released yesterday noted that the race has been neck-and-neck for weeks, though Toomey leads in the homestretch by 5 points, 50-45 among likely voters.  A Sestak victory could help Democrats maintain control of the U.S. Senate as they potentially lose control of the U.S. House to Republicans.  A Toomey victory could help his party seize both houses of Congress today.

This has been a nasty race, with outside groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Crossroads GPS spending millions to attack Sestak in campaign ads while organized labor did the same against Toomey.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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