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BREAKING: Pawlowski to Run for Senate

Ed-Pawlowski-headshotEd Pawlowski is in.

According to Laura Olson and Emily Opilo of the Morning Call, the Allentown Mayor will announce he is entering the 2016 Senate Democratic primary tomorrow.

Pawlowski will be running against former Congressman Joe Sestak in that primary. Sestak was the Democratic Party’s 2010 nominee.

The two men will be battling to take on first-term incumbent Republican Senator Pat Toomey.

The Mayor of Allentown has shown higher political ambitions before. In 2013, he entered the race for Governor but dropped out a few months later. Insufficient money has been cited as the reason Pawlowski couldn’t compete.

Apparently, the Mayor feels this won’t be a problem this time. Democratic Party leaders have been weary of Sestak and recent reports revealed that future Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and DSCC Chair Jon Tester have reached out to alternative candidates.

We ran a reader poll last week pitting Pawlowski and Sestak against each other in a potential primary that saw the former receive 66% of the vote.

No matter who the Democratic nominee is, however, they will face a formidable challenger in Sen. Toomey who already has $7.3 million cash on hand.

21 Responses

  1. caroline mitchell-

    Sestak used his “foreign policy experience” to vote TWICE to give Bush a blank-check for Iraq War funding without any accountability.

  2. what foolishness, to have 2 Dems waste money in a contested primary against an extremely wealthy incumbent GOP senator. Have we all forgotten how Mario Rubio FL 2010 Senate race race trailed by 35 points in the polls yet beat Charlie Crist who had a $4.3 million warchest to Rubio’s $340,000? Please assess who has the best chance of bringing out Dem voters statewide, and get behind him. Admiral Sestak has far greater foreign policy expertise than the lesser-known mayor of a small PA city. for me that is a deciding factor.

  3. Sue-

    Sestak and his ego have cost the Dem tens of millions of dollars with nothing to show for it.

    He raised millions under the pretext of defending the congressional seat, that he then abandoned at the first opportunity and absconded with the money for a different purpose: senate

  4. Dave, you are beginning to sound a bit unhinged on the subject of Sestak.give it a rest and take a deep breath!

  5. tommyd-

    The way I heard it, Sestak tried to blackmail the White House on the whole jobgate mess by threatening to help Issa against Obama. If true, Sestak burned some serious bridges.

  6. C’mon Dave. The Democratic rank and file didn’t like the leadership putting in the fix for Specter (I respected Specter, but he was no Democrat). But after Sestak won the primary, Rendell and the national leadership spitefully refused to back him and THAT’s why he lost to Toomey by less than 2 percent. A little bit of money, a couple endorsement events, a little bit of GOTV, and Toomey would have been back shilling on Wall Street.

  7. There’s a lot of blame on the former party leaders for picking and supporting Specter. But, getting him over to the Dems was a huge coup. The problem was that Sestak had to piss in the pool.

    Specter had $10 million dollars, and 6 years of opposition research, that never got used against Toomey. He would have defeated Toomey. He would not have let Toomey capture the center, like Sestak did. Specter would have worked WITH the party in a coordinated campaign.

    Sestak was asked to run and declined. Then when the Dems find a candidate who has track record of winning the center, tons of money, and had already beaten Toomey among the R’s, Sestak blew it for everyone and abandoned the 7th. Of course, he abandoned the 7th after raising $4.5 million to “defend it”, leaving the next candidate starting from zero for an open seat.

    And when Sestak did win the primary, what did he do? He ran away from the Dem label, refused to work on a coordinated campaign, and abandoned the rest of the ticket.

    Sestak engineered this loss. In October of 2010, he was getting a building permit for an extension to his house in Alexandria, VA. Counting his chickens before they were hatched for a home/senate office perhaps?

    Sestak could have stayed in the 7th, and held the seat. He could have backed Specter or stood by quietly. Instead he spent over $5 million tearing down our best chance of beating Toomey and prevented the $10 million in Specter’s warchest from being used to attack Toomey and expose him as a right-wing extremist.

    So, let’s put the blame were it belongs: squarely on Sestak and his ego.

  8. I met Pawlowski when he was running for Governor. He is a nice guy but I was not very impressed by him as a candidate. Allentown may not be a bad as it once was but conditions in the city still do not make a good basis for running for the Senate.

    That said, while I am supporting Sestak so far I will vote for whoever is the Democratic candidate. Toomey must go.

  9. Before this horse gets too far out of the barn, let’s take a look at 2010 vs. 2016. In 2010, there was a clear disconnect between what the national and state leadership wanted (Specter, a 30-year Republican) and what the Dem rank and file would allow. Sestak was the only candidate who dared to say this was horse manure, and despite his shortcomings as a candidate he won the primary because he was right.

    But this time around, he’s trying to become the candidate on his own merits, and there are quite a few PA Dems who are scared to death to see him face Toomey again. Toomey is vulnerable, but we clearly need a better candidate. Are there people in the leadership who still dislike Sestak because of 2010? Certainly. But that’s not the overriding reason he faces opposition in this race.

  10. To me, the real story to peruse is this one: “Democratic Party leaders have been weary of Sestak and recent reports revealed that future Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and DSCC Chair Jon Tester have reached out to alternative candidates.”

    Why is this the case and who are the Democratic Party Leaders? They are never mentioned by name, but suggest they are leaders of the PA State Party. I know the State Party leadership is NOT against Sestak. It’s the old guard who are still pissed of by the Spector mess they created 6 years ago. The party leadership 6 years ago consistently were out of touch with the voters in the state, and the Spector loss was a glaring example of that. These same people are desperate for relevance in the state party again and they see a path by trying to derail the Sestak campaign.

    They didn’t succeed before, and they won’t this time (don’t get me wrong, I like the Mayor a lot, but this is simply not his race to win. He’s a wonderful man with a lot of accomplishments and a great heart. But where’s the money?)

    So Politics PA… take this story beyond loosely based “leads” and start to report who is saying what. I can promise you all roads lead to FORMER leaders of the party.

  11. Allentown must be a horrible place … this guy has been trying to run for anything to get out of Allentown. He will get creamed by Sestak, which will prime Sestak to take-down Toomey.

  12. The next quarter fundraising will be both interesting and misleading.

    Sestak’s first quarter (two years ago) appeared big (around $400 K), but it was almost entirely max donations of $5,200 ($2,600 primary and $2,600 general). The donations were all timed to occur in the last two weeks of March which was very arranged. None of those donors can give him another nickel.

    Pawlowski will likely try to pull in some big numbers quickly and tap-out some max donors. So, a big 1st quarter does not mean sustainable fundraising.

    This is a pattern we’ve seen with Sestak’s anemic fundraising.

    BTW, this month Sestak got ANOTHER request from the FEC to correct his previous filings. He has also this month switched treasurers back to his sister.

    Last week they submitted a “correction” for disbursements, which have been defective for six months. They started referring to his campaign staffers as “general campaign consultants”. He’s not paying their payroll taxes because he’s trying to pretend they are not employees. He’s switched from calling them merely “consultants”, but the payroll tax and benefits dodge is still the same.

    TEAM PAWLOWSKI… if you are doing your jobs, make a stink about how Sestak is dodging payroll taxes by putting the burden on his employees and not giving them health care benefits.

    Contact the FEC and IRS and Labor Dept, etc., and report him.

    Joe is an anti-worker employer. Pays below minimum wage and treats his workers like crap. He’s the kind of boss that unions were created to oppose.

  13. Well, this is sure to excite yoters. Might as well run a school board president from Pennsburg. Seriously – what does this guy think he has that qualifies him to be a Senator? He sure doesn’t know how to dress the part… Isn’t there someone younger, more female, more charismatic and more intelligent we can get behind? You run a woman in an election when Hillary is heading the ticket, and you have a landslide victory.

  14. Won’t be able to raise $ to take on Sestak let alone be competitive with Toomey on that front. Surely there is someone better than these 2 on the D side.

  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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