Ex-Rep. Sestak announces rematch attempt against Sen. Toomey

Former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) will seek a rematch against Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) in 2016, he announced in a Tuesday campaign video.


"The U.S. Senate's lack of leadership and lack of accountability in not confronting our challenges has meant our country careens from crisis to crisis, paralyzing the governing of our nation. That's why today we're launching a campaign for leadership, for a better America," Sestak says in the video. "The Senate needs a leader accountable only to we the people, not any other interests."

Sestak never mentions Toomey, but it's clear that's his target, as the state's other Senate seat is held by recently reelected Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), and Pennsylvania Democrats say Sestak has long wanted to take another crack at defeating his 2010 foe.

Toomey beat Sestak by slightly more than 2 percentage points in 2010, a very good year for Republicans, after Sestak defeated then-Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) in a primary.

The Sestak-Toomey race could be a marquee matchup, as their 2010 race was a particularly hard-fought campaign. 

Sestak has already raised nearly a half-million dollars for the bid. Toomey has $2.4 million in the bank for the race, and while he's continued to be a hardliner on fiscal issues, he has sought the center on other matters, winning praise from some Democrats for working with them on legislation to close loopholes in firearm purchase background checks.

Sestak's decision also means he won't be running for governor. He'd never hinted he was, but when he posted a big fundraising haul last quarter without any explanation, some speculated he might be looking at running statewide in 2014.