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Vitali might run for Sestak’s seat

Vitali might run for Sestak’s seat

State Representative Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) is considering a Congressional run in the 7th District, multiple Democratic Party insiders told

With Congressman Joe Sestak vacating the seat to run for Senate, the Delaware County district is expected to be one of the more competitive Congressional races in the country. State Representative Bryan Lentz (D-Delaware) has already said he is seeking the Democratic nomination, and businessman Steven Welch is running for the GOP nod. Vitali, who has represented a district that includes Haverford and Radnor for for more than 15 years, could pose a significant challenge to Lentz, in a district that Democrats are determined to hold.

“Greg has said he’s seriously looking at it,” said Cliff Wilson, the county Democratic Party chairman.

And he might not be alone. Wilson said a few other Democrats had contacted him to express early interest in the race, though he declined to float specific names.

With lawmakers absorbed in contentious budget negotiations in Harrisburg, Vitali could not be immediately reached Tuesday. But multiple Democratic insisders confirmed that he’s interested in the race.

August 4, 2009 at 1:57 pm

--Dan Hirschhorn

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comments [9] | post a comment

  1. [...] Vitali might run for Sestak’s seat… [...]

  2. Nick

    Aug 4th, 2009

    Steve Welch has been out there for months preparing to take on Joe Sestak, but I’m sure he’s more than ready for anyone the Democrats decide to nominate. Whoever it is will have to answer for their party’s paltry efforts in DC. Steve gives the 7th a fresh choice as to who can bring REAL responsibility and accountability to Congress. I’ve met Steve and have been hearing great buzz about Steve’s campaign. I’m impressed by his background as well as the grassroots support he’s received.

  3. karlub

    Aug 4th, 2009

    Given the news, I hear a fair amount about Democrats considering the seat. Although that doesn’t necessarily mean a competitive primary.

    But has anyone heard about other GOP figures besides Welch looking at it?

  4. David Diano

    Aug 4th, 2009

    Lentz vs Vitali is a tough primary choice. I’ve helped both campaigns in the last two elections. I like Lentz a lot. Good guy and good candidate. Vitali is my St. Legislator and in my township.

    Either one would be a better representative than Sestak.

  5. Lee Levan

    Aug 4th, 2009

    Atta boy, Dave. You didn’t miss this opportunity to take a gratuitous shot at Sestak, which served absolutely no purpose at all except to spew your venom once again. You really must have a personal hate for Sestak.

  6. David Diano

    Aug 4th, 2009

    I went to Lentz two years ago and told him I’d work on his campaign if he decided to give Sestak a primary challenge. At Dem events, I run into a lot of Lentz supporters who regret allowing Sestak to push out Lentz in 2006, and wishing they could replace Sestak. Sestak’s been an example of “buyer’s remorse” among Delco progressives.

    So, the comparison with Sestak is apt and reflects not only my own desire to get rid of Sestak, but that of other local Dems.

    Vitali hasn’t been on the radar for this seat (he didn’t try for it in 2006, like Lentz). Greg would certainly be an improvement.

    By the time I’m done, I think Sestak’s going to hate me more than I hate him. This week I set in motion an event that (hopefully) should knock the campaign to the canvass for a karmic three-count and even an old score I wanted to settle. Not a knock-out, but a setback.

  7. Lyan Bentz

    Aug 4th, 2009

    There are also rumors circling that a certain Dem may want to switch to Republican to run for this seat.

  8. David Diano

    Aug 5th, 2009

    Well, that was vague.

  9. Nick

    Aug 5th, 2009

    Vitali is a stronger candidate than Lentz to hold onto the seat against Republicans. Vitali fits the mold better of what the voters of the District are looking for: hard-working, straight-straight shooter.

    Vitali’s been a state legislator for 15 years, with a strong ethics appeal who works extremely hard. He continually has represented a legislative District that was heavily Republican when he was first elected and continually won re-election.

    Vitali is also better known within the District with a reputation of being a “Mr. Smith Goes to Harrisburg” state legislator, which is readily transferrable into a “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” quality for Congress.

    Vitali’s reputation/experience as an elected representative matches up better than Lentz against the two leading potential Republican candidates, Craig Williams who ran last year and lost to Sestak, and Pat Meehan – currently running for Governor – but who may step down to run for Congress in his home district.

    Lentz’ calling card: former assistant Philly DA/army reconstruction work in Bosina are trumped by Williams having been an assistant US Attorney/marine fighter pilot and Meehan having been the US Attorney in Philadelphia/the District Attorney in Delaware County.

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