While Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and likely 2010 GOP primary challenger Pat Toomey continue to hammer away at each other, Democrats have made little noise about the race, which could be one of the most high profile contests of next year.

Josh Drobnyk of the Allentown Morning Call writes that Democratic Reps. Joe Sestak, Allyson Schwartz and Patrick Murphy are all names that have been floated, but none have taken serious steps toward running. State Auditor General Jack Wagner has similarly also told friends he won't run for the seat.

So far, National Constitution Center CEO Joseph Torsella is the only Democrat who has declared he is running. But Drobnyk also writes that state Rep. Josh Shapiro, who met with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee last month, is moving ahead with exploring a bid.

'I'm certainly not sitting, waiting for something,'' Shapiro said. ''We are aggressively reaching out to people.''

UPDATE: Meanwhile, Mackenzie Carpenter of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has an interesting take on why women appear to be sitting out Pennsylvania's statewide races. She writes:
Of the eight or nine names mentioned as challengers to Sen. Arlen Specter, two women are in the mix -- maybe. On the Republican side, Peg Luksik, of Johnstown, has announced her candidacy, while on the Democratic side, U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, of Philadelphia, has yet to rule out a bid, although she's considered unlikely to run since she's been steadily building seniority in the U.S. House.

And for governor? Not a single woman.