Amid a report that Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) had been approached by Democrats about switching parties, the senior Senator from Pennsylvania released a short statement Wednesday in an effort to put to rest any speculation he might be looking to jump ship.
“To eliminate any doubt, I am a Republican and I am running for re-election in 2010 as a Republican on the Republican ticket,— Specter said in the statement released by his campaign.
The speculation about Specter switching parties began after Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) told a local TV station that Democrats had tried to coax the Senator across the aisle.
“We’ve tried. Myself, Sen. [Bob] Casey, Vice President [Joseph] Biden have tried to talk him into it, but he’s bound and determined to stay a Republican,— Rendell told RNN-TV.
Specter faces a difficult GOP primary in 2010 against former Rep. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), who has indicated he plans to run. Specter narrowly defeated Toomey in 2004, and next year’s contest is expected to be equally hard fought.