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20 October 2010

Pennsylvania – Senate

Pat Toomey (R) v Joe Sestak (D)

By Rob Higson

The Republican Pat Toomey, 48, a former congressman, is up against Joe Sestak, a current Democratic congressman.

While other Democrats across the country have sought to distance themselves from parts of Barack Obama’s agenda, Sestak has defended the president’s record. But he ruffled a few feathers when he told reporters he would prefer it if Michelle Obama campaigned for him rather than her husband.

The seat is being vacated by Senator Arlen Specter, a former Republican who switched to the Democrats in 2009. Sestak defeated him in the primaries in May after coming from behind.

As a three-star navy vice-admiral, Sestak became the highest-ranking former military officer to serve in Congress. He has a PhD in government from Harvard.

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He has also received lengthy praise from the president, who has helped campaign for him.

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Toomey, a wealthy former investor in the international capital markets and president of the fiscally conservative “Club for Growth” organisation, is leading by roughly 7 points in the polls.

Previous race: California governorship

Next race: Alabama – House of Representatives, Second District