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Specter Ekes Out Win in Pa. Primary
AP ^ | Apr 27, 2004 | LARA JAKES JORDAN

Posted on 04/27/2004 11:30:35 PM PDT by AmericanMade1776

PHILADELPHIA - Moderate Republican Sen. Arlen Specter beat back a tough primary threat, barely defeating a conservative congressman who lacked support from party leaders but gained momentum by casting the four-term incumbent as too liberal.

Specter, 74, eked out a win Tuesday against Rep. Pat Toomey, 42, despite a low turnout among Pennsylvania's 3.2 million registered Republicans that had been expected to aid the challenger.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Specter had 524,020 votes, or 51 percent, to Toomey's 507,777 votes, or 49 percent.

The race, one of the GOP's most closely watched contests this year, tested the strength of the party's conservative wing. Specter's win also was a victory for President Bush (news - web sites), who endorsed Specter and is counting on his supporters to help him carry a state he narrowly lost to Democrat Al Gore (news - web sites) in 2000.

"Now is the time, now that we've settled our family disagreement in the Republican Party, to unite for victory in November for the president," Specter told cheering supporters in a two-minute speech early Wednesday morning.

Toomey conceded the race and endorsed Specter before an applauding crowd at a suburban Allentown hotel.

"We saw the top of that tall mountain, but we came just a little bit short," Toomey said. "Although we didn't win the campaign, we did advance the cause. ... We fought very hard and we came very close, but tonight the people have spoken."

Specter will face Democratic Rep. Joe Hoeffel in the Nov. 2 general election.

Specter easily won his home base of Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs, while Toomey scored a surprise upset in Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh. He also dominated in his home area of Lehigh and Northampton counties.

The contest represented perhaps the most serious primary challenge to any Senate incumbent this season.

Toomey got within striking distance through a campaign that criticized Specter as too liberal on issues including abortion, but some leading conservative Republicans rallied to the incumbent's defense. President Bush and other administration officials campaigned with Specter, and Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., hopscotched across the state with him Monday.

Many Republicans feared a Specter loss ultimately could have cost them control of the Senate, where they hold a 51-48 majority, with one independent, because Toomey could find it harder to defeat Hoeffel, a three-term congressman from the Philadelphia suburbs who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.

Hoeffel said Specter had bowed too far to the right in the primary.

"He used to be a moderate maverick but he is neither of those things," Hoeffel said early Wednesday. "He's voting for a Republican program in Washington that's not working in Pennsylvania. He's their senator now — not ours."

Toomey bucked GOP leaders in challenging the senator. Few considered him a threat as recently as last month, but a poll released on the primary's eve showed the congressman just six percentage points behind.

Specter relied heavily on Bush's endorsement as he defended his record.

"I think it's very important to focus on what President Bush wants," Specter said after casting his ballot in Philadelphia. "He's the leader of the party. He thinks I can help him be re-elected."

Toomey, a three-term lawmaker, is a fiscal conservative, opposes abortion rights and has voted against an increase in the minimum wage and background checks for firearm purchasers at gun shows.

Specter, a former Philadelphia district attorney, often enjoys support from unions and abortion rights activists and has clashed with the White House over tax cuts and homeland security.

During the campaign, he touted his prowess in delivering hundreds of millions of federal dollars to Pennsylvania each year because of his 24-year tenure in Washington. He called Toomey too "far out" for the state.

Specter is in line for the chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee (news - web sites) next year — a prospect that scares conservatives still smarting over his 1987 vote thwarting the Supreme Court nomination of Robert H. Bork.

Specter spent more than $10 million on his campaign, about three times as much as Toomey. But he also had to fend off a $2 million assault from the conservative anti-tax group Club for Growth, which put other GOP moderates on notice when it targeted Specter as its No. 1 priority this year.

The state's most competitive congressional race looked to be the one for the seat Hoeffel is leaving. Democratic state Sen. Allyson Y. Schwartz and Republican ophthalmologist Melissa Brown defeated primary opponents in close races in which candidates had raised a total of $2.75 million by April 7.

In Pennsylvania's 17th Congressional District, the son of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, Scott Paterno, 31, won the Republican nomination in a six-way primary. He had counted on his big family name to help overcome his little political experience in one of the nation's most crowded primary fields for the House.

A campaign for a state House of Representatives seat, meanwhile, took a shocking turn Tuesday when one of the candidates apparently killed himself.

Sam Kovolenko, 46, one of five candidates in the Democratic primary for the western Pennsylvania seat, was found by his wife in the bedroom of their Ambridge home with a gunshot wound to the neck. Investigators believe Kovolenko committed suicide because a rifle was found by his body, there were no signs of a break-in and the door to the house was locked, Beaver County Coroner Wayne Tatalovich said.

___

(Excerpt) Read more at story.news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Politics/Elections; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: pittsburgh; specter
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1 posted on 04/27/2004 11:30:35 PM PDT by AmericanMade1776
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To: AmericanMade1776
Crap, crap, crap, crap and more crap.
2 posted on 04/27/2004 11:33:32 PM PDT by thegreatbeast (Quid lucrum istic mihi est?)
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To: AmericanMade1776
Damned disappointing.
3 posted on 04/27/2004 11:50:44 PM PDT by My2Cents ("Well...there you go again.")
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To: AmericanMade1776
DAMN!
4 posted on 04/27/2004 11:53:03 PM PDT by SAJ (So, ya wanna buy a bridge, eh? Lemme see what I've got in stock...)
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To: *Pittsburgh; Willie Green; 3catsanadog; agrace; annyokie; Atlantin; Ayn Rand wannabe; Badray; ...
Specter easily won his home base of Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs, while Toomey scored a surprise upset in Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh.

It's a 'Burgh


Thing.TM

Click for Pittsburgh International, Pennsylvania Forecast
Send FReepmail if you want on/off BPT list
Learn Pittsburghese!

5 posted on 04/28/2004 12:14:41 AM PDT by martin_fierro ("I actually threw away my medals - before I didn't" -- J Effin' K)
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To: martin_fierro
Yeah The Conservative Cause is growing here in the belly of the beast. It's gonna cuase a lot of indigestion one of these days. Fact is I bet the close race c\did cause a lot of heartburn!

BTW check out my posts to a coupole of the other threads. I found it amusing that former AG Roy Zimmerman would claim Toomey's turnout was bought by Bit Money and Wall Street! I have it on tape.

prisoner6

6 posted on 04/28/2004 12:22:29 AM PDT by prisoner6 (Right Wing Nuts hold the country together as the loose screws of the left fall out!)
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To: AmericanMade1776
I am tired of people calling specter a moderate. Specture is a liberal. He has democrats working for him.

In the eyes of the partisan media a "moderate" is a RINO.

If anything, this is a wake up call in that the "moderate" position is NOT the default position. Conservative positions win votes.

Even with an endorsemnt by Bush, and Specter touting his mere seniority, Specter still had to eak out a win from a challenger who should not have been a threat. Rove should take this as a lesson and a wake up.

We need more conservatives across the board in order to marginalize the frauds like specter.

(I still laugh with specter refering to scotish law during the clinton impeachment. Seriously considering "not proven" as a third option betrayed his oath in the senate.)

It is good that moderats are dying out. Moderates enabled and emboldened the left to get us into the messes we have to clean up today.
7 posted on 04/28/2004 12:44:32 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: longtermmemmory
Specter is 74. What happens if he doesn't make it thru his term? Is there a special election? If so Toomey has ALL the credibility and would be the Republican candidate.
8 posted on 04/28/2004 2:58:24 AM PDT by finnsheep
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To: finnsheep
If 74 yo Spector dies in office, the (Democrat) gov of PA gets to appoint his replacement
9 posted on 04/28/2004 3:02:12 AM PDT by SauronOfMordor (That which does not kill me had better be able to run away damn fast.)
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To: longtermmemmory
To be fair, having democrats working for him is not conclusive evidence he is a liberal.

I have some (very few) trusted friends who are democrats, for example. One is a very well spoken and lovely african american woman, very well educated, and she would be a great public face for a politician and a great staffmember.

If I was in Congress, I would almost certainly ask her to be on my staff as a general spokeswoman as well as a special liason for my office for minority issues, and I'd hope she would agree to join the staff.

She is a lifelong democrat, though not a nauseatingly liberal one. Her presence in my congressional office, or my local office, would not be evidence I was a liberal at all.

In fact, I'm pretty conservative! ;-)

(Then again, I also love the way she looks naked, so that might be clouding my judgment a bit)
10 posted on 04/28/2004 3:11:22 AM PDT by HitmanLV (I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.)
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To: HitmanNY
I hope you have some second thoughts as to the last post. Private is provate, my friend. We don't want to share too much of our private lives.
11 posted on 04/28/2004 3:49:34 AM PDT by bvw
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To: AmericanMade1776
Specter won because of the Demoncrat cross-over voters that re-registered as Republicans to hijack the election.

Write in Toomey in the fall.

12 posted on 04/28/2004 3:57:03 AM PDT by brityank (The more I learn about the Constitution, the more I realise this Government is UNconstitutional.)
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To: thegreatbeast
Haven't you heard? This is supposed to be GOOD for Bush. After all, he STUPIDLY endorsed Specter...
13 posted on 04/28/2004 3:58:29 AM PDT by ovrtaxt ( Communism has bowed the knee to Jesus. *** Allah is next.)
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To: ovrtaxt
I hope Specter loses to Hoeffel.
14 posted on 04/28/2004 4:00:09 AM PDT by petercooper (I just discovered my family owns an SUV.)
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To: petercooper
The Senate votes are going to come out the same either way...
15 posted on 04/28/2004 4:01:10 AM PDT by ovrtaxt ( Communism has bowed the knee to Jesus. *** Allah is next.)
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To: petercooper
Me too. I don't want Specter calling the shots on who gets put on the SCOTUS. This is bad,very bad for our country.
16 posted on 04/28/2004 4:07:03 AM PDT by BOBWADE
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To: martin_fierro
The west went for Toomey, even Allegheny County. I am really diappointed...by the Specter victory, by the Santorum and Bush support of same, and by the fact that the 'east' of PA once again determined an election.

No matter what happens between now and November I will not hold my nose and vote for Specter...I have decided that I am sending a message...I will write in Toomey (no vote for a Dem, or Libertarian, or a Greenie, etc.).

17 posted on 04/28/2004 4:13:36 AM PDT by PennsylvaniaMom (FreeMartha)
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To: BOBWADE

Since the president will not have 60 votes in the Senate, he will not get any judges approved anyway, so this changes nothing.
What made Bush think that a win for Specter will help him win PA in November? Specter didn't help him win PA in '02, and there wasn't even a senatorial election to get the Dems out to vote. It surely will not help Bush this year when every union dog and cat will be voting at least twice for Hoeffle.
Big BOOS to all "conservatives" who didn't bother to get out and vote for Toomey yesterday. You could have won this one but chose not to. We do not think you are conservatives at all, just lazy and uncommitted.
18 posted on 04/28/2004 4:18:45 AM PDT by kittymyrib
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: AmericanMade1776; All
Damn, damn, triple damn!

Here in York County, we delivered for Republicans; ALL of them.

http://ydr.com/page/election/summary/

What a depressing result.

I think the last 3 days of Sphincter ads, where he stated that "a vote against him was a vote against the Republican Party", cinched it for a lot of moderate voters who hadn't made up their minds to vote Conservative, for Toomey.

Here's my post yesterday, on that subject, and the reply:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1125436/posts
20 posted on 04/28/2004 5:17:08 AM PDT by 7.62 x 51mm ( )
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