Less than six hours after defeating Pennsylvania’s longest-serving Senator in a bitter primary, Democratic candidate Joe Sestak was already on the campaign trail again and so was his Republican opponent.
Sestak, who got 54 percent of the vote to beat Sen. Arlen Specter, shook hands and did media interviews on his way to Washington, D.C. after his upset victory and about three hours of sleep. He will now become the party darling as Democrats try to avoid losing a critical seat in the Senate.
“I think people knew they got slammed in a pretty savage economy and the Bush administration,” Sestak told Metro via telephone from his office on Capitol Hill. “They know we can’t look backwards” to GOP candidate Pat Toomey.
Toomey, a former congressman, also wasted no time taking shots at Sestak, painting him as ultra liberal and noting his support of the bailout package and health care reform.
Some political analysts say Sestak faces another steep challenge due to expending major energy and money in the primary, while Toomey coasted to the nomination.
“He’s got the campaign material right there. He can run the same ads,” said St. Joseph’s University professor Randall Miller. “Sestak is lacking the kind of baggage [Specter had], but he’s lacking the advantages Specter had.”