As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Senate Primary Challenges A Go-Go

With the second quarter fundraising out of the way, now is the perfect opportunity for candidates to jump in and announce their intentions to run. In Pennsylvania and New York, that's what we're seeing.

Joe Sestak's candidacy is the worst-kept secret in America, and he again vowed to run in an interview with the Wayne Independent.

A congressman from the Philadelphia suburbs will challenge U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter in the Democratic Senate primary.

In an interview with The Wayne Independent Wednesday morning, U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Pa.,confirmed his intention to run against Specter, a long-time Republican who switched to the Democratic party earlier this year.

“I am going to get into the race against Arlen Specter ... for senator,” said Sestak in his first media interview as part of a three-week tour through all of the Commonwealth’s 67 counties.

Sestak is a good campaigner and a smart politician and I expect him to do well. In fact, I predicted a victory last week.

Now there's another primary challenger, in New York State to go against Kirsten Gillibrand, the appointed replacement of Hillary Clinton. Carolyn Maloney will run.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney has decided to take on Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in the 2010 Democratic primary, refusing to bow to party leaders who want her to stay out, the Daily News has learned.

"She's definitely decided to run," said a senior Maloney adviser, speaking on condition of anonymity. "She's in it."

Previously, New York poohbahs like Chuck Schumer and the White House cleared aspirants out of the way. Maloney would not be moved. In general I think that's healthy. Gillibrand has a good voting record as a Senator, but I reject the appointment process as undemocratic and think that appointees should have to work for their position. With Ted Kaufman not running in Delaware, Roland Burris toast in Illinois, and this primary, 3 of the 4 appointees will either not run or have challenges next year, and Michael Bennet certainly ought to have one in Colorado.

They may be expensive, they can potentially be divisive, but they allow the voters a voice rather than having representatives anointed from on high. That's always a good thing.

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