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Rivals Talk Health, Drink Beer, Ignore Specter

Two candidates who want to unseat Sen. Arlen Specter debated health insurance and then went out for a beer. Specter wasn’t invited – either to the debate or to the Allentown Brew Works afterward.

During the town-hall style forum at Muhlenberg College in Allentown,his two major challengers, Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak and Republican Pat Toomey, agreed on little more than defeating Specter.

Sestak had invited Toomey, a former congressman, to debate the issue and left Specter out, according to Toomey’s campaign. Neither of them mentioned the senator once during the civil, 95-minute event. Specter, who’s seeking a sixth term in 2010 (and his first as a Democrat), issued a one-sentence statement shortly after the debate ended Wednesday night. “I look forward to returning to the Capitol next week and speaking to my colleagues about trying to pass a health care reform bill,” he said.

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