Joe Torsella, the only Democrat who has already launched a Pennsylvania Senate campaign, said Wednesday that Gov. Ed Rendell has not asked him to abort his run to clear the field for Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) now that Specter is a Democrat.

Mark Nevins, a spokesman for Torsella, told "Joe has had one conversation with the Governor since this all began...In that conversation there was no request from Governor Rendell made to Joe to get out of the race."

That remark directly contradicts and earlier Associated Press report that Rendell had urged Torsella to quit his Senate run.

When Specter switched parties earlier this week, it was reported the the Democratic leadership had agreed to back him in his re-election campaign next year. Since then, however, Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak has said he is still considering the race and Torsella has made no indication that he is ending his run.

A spokesman for Rendell's office has yet to clarify the differing reports. When he does, we'll post his remarks.