Specter Won't Face Schwartz in Democratic Primary After Party Switch

One possible opponent is out of the field, while others temporize.

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By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Rep. Allyson Schwartz won't square off against Arlen Specter in a Democratic primary, though her House colleague Joe Sestak may yet do so.

"Congresswoman Schwartz even before this news came out was weighing whether or not to stay in the House," Rachel Magnuson told me. Magnuson said that Schwartz is interested in continuing to work on healthcare in the House. "So today she fully welcomes Senator Specter to the Democratic Party." And that means, for the record, that she is not going to use her $2.1 million to run against Specter.

Sestak on the other hand is keeping his powder dry. "I'm going to have to wait," he said this afternoon on MSNBC.

From The Hill:

Sestak said he is waiting "to see what [Specter] is running for," implying that he wants to see what Specter will proactively stand for in his campaign instead of just opposing Republican policies.

"If the alternative is Toomey, that's one thing," Sestak said, appearing to indicate that he would support Specter if he is the Democratic nominee.

Democrat Joe Torsella, he of $580,000 in the bank, has said that he's going to primary Specter anyway, though he does not appear to be of the same caliber as Schwartz or Sestak (who has $3.3 million).

Exit question: As recently as the start of this month, Specter told my colleague Katherine Skiba that, "I'm a Republican. I am running on the Republican ticket in the Republican primary." Just because he said today that he's running for re-election, why should we believe him? Maybe in six months he gets tired of the Democratic Party and goes into private life. Probably not, though, that idea is almost as crazy as the magic bullet theory.

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