Well - it looks like we may be losing our Congressman but possibly gaining a new Senator. Delaware County PA is once again lining up to be a key battleground in the 2010 election on the national stage.
Last week, the local Delaware County Times reported that "Sestak (is) All But In For Senate Race". What does this mean? What are the local impacts? Too soon to tell, but let's put a little perspective on it.
Joe Sestack is currently the local Pennsylvania US Representative in Congress (Brady represents a small portion of southeastern Delaware County). He won his 2008 race last year against Republican W. Craig Williams by a vote of 209,955 (59.6%) to 142,362 (40.4%) . He continues to be popular in the local area and won his seat originally by beating out longtime local Representative Curt Weldin in 2006.
Delaware County itself is trending increasingly Democratic. As of May 1, 2009, from an over 2:1 majority in the early 2000's, registered Republicans now number 189,977 (46.7%) in the county versus 172,946 (42.5%) for the Democrats and 43,600 (10.7%) for other parties. In the State Senate, the county elected 1 Republican, Dominic Pileggi, and 1 Democratic, Daylin Leach, in the 2008 races. For the Pennsylvania State House in 2008, Delaware County elected 5 Republicans, 5 Democrats, and one who was represented on both tickets. Bottom line: we're pretty well split down the middle but still leaning Republican.
Sestak's potential Senate primary competitor, Arlen Spector, won his statewide US Senate race comfortably in 2004 against Joe Hoeffel by 2,925,080 (52.6%) to 2,334,126 (41.9%) . He was in a much tougher primary against Pat Toomey which based on the trending demographics he felt he would be unable to win against in a Republican primary in 2010. He switched parties to the Democrats based on his feeling that he would have a better shot of getting through the primaries to the general election.
Sestak clearly doesn't intend to walk away. According to the TPM website, the move has not deterred him and he is close to making a final decision. This is certainly supported by his latest notes to his supporters. Now it appears we are going to have a very competitive primary on the Democratic side rather than the Republican side.
Can he win? Too early to say, but 2010 is already shaping up to be an interesting race in the local area.