Following up last week's endorsement from Independent New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, it appears Democratic Senate hopeful Joe Sestak has secured the endorsement of former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. The pair will appear in Pittsburgh tomorrow, the AP's Peter Jackson reports, as the race to the middle continues:
Hagel told The Associated Press on Monday that Sestak has demonstrated during his two terms in Congress that he puts what's best for the country before the interests of his party. He said Sestak's courage and integrity as a legislator are qualities the nation needs more of.
He refused to comment on the candidacy of Sestak's opponent, Republican Pat Toomey, a former congressman.
The men are seeking the seat long held by Sen. Arlen Specter, a Republican-turned-Democrat whom Sestak beat in the primary.
Hagel plans to announce his endorsement Tuesday at news conferences with Sestak in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
The endorsement might not help Sestak with conservative Israel backers, though. The Weekly Standard points to the National Jewish Democratic Council's assertion that Hagel had a "questionable" record on Israel. Sestak has been targeted (and defended) by pro-Israel groups in ad campaigns this summer.
The event is at the Point of View statue at Grandview & Sweetbriar on Mount Washington at 9 a.m. The two will reconvene in Philadelphia's Washington Square at 2 p.m.