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