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State Lawmaker Preparing to Run for Sestak’s House Seat

Pennsylvania state Rep. Bryan Lentz (D) said Friday that he plans to run for the House seat currently held by Rep. Joe Sestak, who made it clear earlier this week that he intends to challenge Sen. Arlen Specter in the 2010 Democratic primary.

Sestak’s suburban Philadelphia district could be a pickup opportunity for Republicans, but it comes with a huge price tag — the Philadelphia media market is one of the most expensive in the country. Lentz said he has tapped Aubrey Montgomery, a veteran Philadelphia-area Democratic fundraiser, as his finance director to help him raised the $3 million that he needs to run his campaign.

“I’m going to take the next week or so and form a top-notch finance committee with the bigger political fundraisers and contributors from Delaware County and the region, and shortly thereafter file the papers,— Lentz said in a phone interview.

Lentz attempted to run for the House seat in 2006, but Democratic leaders in Pennsylvania pushed him out of the primary in favor of Sestak. Lentz said that based on Sestak’s statements this week that he intends to run for the Senate, he has decided to run for the Congressional seat again.

Sestak seems determined to run for the Senate even though President Barack Obama and many other party leaders have pledged to support Specter next year.

“It’s based on Congressman Sestak’s statement, it appears that opportunity is going to avail itself,— Lentz said. “And politics is a business of opportunities and the opportunity to run for Congress in a competitive seat doesn’t come up that often.—

Lentz said he has not spoken with Sestak in the past few days but has let the two-term Congressman know generally that he is interested in running for the seat if it becomes open.

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