Pennsylvannia

Specter Falls to Sestak

In the hotly contested Democratic Senate primary race in Pennsylvania, Rep. Joe Sestak nosed out long-time incumbent Arlen Specter, who had switched parties just last year in hopes of bettering his chances to make it to the midterm elections. Sestak will face Republican Pat Toomey, who won his party's Senate nomination in Pennsylvania, and Specter pledged to support the Democratic candidate after conceding defeat. Pennsylvania also held a special election for the late Rep. John Murtha's seat, which went to Democrat Mark Critz. Democrats were particularly encouraged by the result as the district leans conservative and President Obama is relatively unpopular among its constituents. The victory suggests that Republican gains in the House could be limited by strong candidates and organizing on the Democratic side.