WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter on Tuesday was defeated in a Democratic primary in his bid for a sixth term after taking the risky step of switching from the GOP. Voters picked U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak as the party’s nominee and rejected the 80-year-old Specter in his first Democratic campaign.
With 65 percent of precincts reporting, Sestak received 339,402 votes, nearly 53 percent. Specter received 304,179 votes, about 47 percent.
Sestak faces Republican Pat Toomey in the fall election.
Specter has been a fixture in American politics for three decades and served in the Senate since 1981, and his switch to the Democrats was a theme that dominated the race.
Sestak, a retired Navy vice admiral who has represented a suburban Philadelphia district since 2007, accused Specter of switching parties to save his job. He said Specter couldn’t be trusted to support Democratic Party values.
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