Fox News confirms that President Obama will campaign for Pennsylvania Senate candidate Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA) on September 20th. The second-term congressman will face former Congressman Pat Toomey on November 2nd in the general election.
The president had previously supported Sestak's primary opponent Republican-turned-Democrat Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) who Sestak defeated in the May primary. Just last week, former Nebraska Republican Senator Chuck Hagel endorsed Sestak. In early August, former President Bill Clinton campaigned on Sestak's behalf, though the candidate was in Washington for a scheduled vote and did not attend the rally.
The White House and Sestak have both admitted there were conversations about giving Sestak a job in the administration if he chose not to run against Specter in the primary. It was later alleged that Clinton handled the negotiations, however the former president recently denied his role.
Sestak spokesman Jonathan Dworkin tells Fox in a statement that, "We're honored that the president would do an event with Joe during his trip to Pennsylvania. He and Joe may have had their differences, but they can agree that it is critical to elect a Senator who will put Pennsylvania's working families first. "
At the monthly Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon in July, Sestak said that although the president had offered to campaign for him, he expressed his preference for the first lady Michelle Obama to come to Pennsylvania on his behalf. He cited her ability to connect with an increasing female workforce as his reason.
In a Rasmussen Reports survey taken earlier this week, likely voters favored Toomey over Sestak 45-39 percent.