In a stop in Scranton this weekend, Congressman and former Senate candidate Joe Sestak downplayed recent rumors that he is planning to challenge Senator Bob Casey.
“I think he’s a good Senator,” said Sestak. “I think Senator Casey could sleep and win this election, he’s so good.”
Since the day after the election, Sestak has been touring Pennsylvania to say thank you to all of his supporters. Sestak said so far, the trip has taken him to more than 50 counties. He aims to visit all 67 Pennsylvania counties by January 2011.
The tour is reminiscent of the prelude to Sestak’s primary challenge of Senator Arlen Specter, when he visited every PA county but remained coy about his candidacy. Sestak has also said that he wants to remain in public service. That, plus Sestak’s admitted preference for “running against the establishment,” resulted in rumors that he may similarly challenge Casey.
That’s not what he intended, Sestak insisted. “I decided before the election that I was going to do this, win or lose.”
While Sestak did not definitively rule out a run, he seemed dismissive. This comes in contrast to his 2009 tour, when Sestak actively stoked rumors that he would challenge Specter.
“He’s a good Senator,” Sestak reiterated, and offered Casey some campaign advice. “I told Bob a week and a half ago. If I were you, I’d spend next year in the T.”
According to a recent Quinnipiac Poll, a mere 13% of Pennsylvania Democrats feel that Casey does not deserve re-election.