My home state of Pennsylvania will hold a primary election on Tuesday. Incumbent Senator Arlen Specter, who switched to the Democratic Party last year, faces a tough primary contest in his new party.
Specter, 80, was first elected to the Senate, as a Republican, in 1980. He became a Republican in 1965, when he won that party's nomination for Philadelphia district attorney, an office he went on to hold for eight years. Specter chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee in the 2005-6 Congress.
Specter's opponent is Congressman Joe Sestak, 58. Sestak was a career Navy man until 2005. Then, in 2006, he defeated longtime Republican Congressman Curt Weldon, as part of the Democratic midterm landslide. Sestak was reelected in 2008.
Specter had a large lead in early polls, but it's now a much tighter race. Real Clear Politics reports that polls now show Sestak with a slight lead.