It's 7 a.m. and the polls have officially opened in Pennsylvania.
So go out and vote in your respective primary elections... or don't complain about the results. And if you're a registered independent, well then I'm sorry Pennsylvania's convoluted closed primary system won't allow you to have your say.
Regardless of party affiliation, today's elections offer a number of interesting races, including two that are garnering national attention.
The one that has the most immediate impact will be the 12th District race between Democrat Mark Critz and Republican Tim Burns. The district, which looks like a kangaroo jumping into the mouth of a pit bull, was vacated earlier this year when longtime congressman John Murtha died due to complications from gallbladder surgery. The special election is a dead heat and could predict what will happen with the rest of the congress in the fall. Although I don't live in the district, I've seen plenty of the commercials from both the campaigns and their party affiliates. Most have ranged from stupid to bizarre: The 50-foot Nancy Pelosi monster and Critz telling voters he opposed the Democratic health care law and is pro-gun/pro-life are the first that come to mind.
The other race could shakeup the D.C. political establishment. Sen. Arlen Specter is teetering on the edge of losing the Democratic primary to Joe Sesetak, a two-term congressman from eastern Pennsylvania. Sestak has hammered Specter about his party switch and whether Democrats can trust him. Specter has responded by slamming Sestak's military record. It will be a monumental upset if Sestak wins. And with recent polls showing a statistical tie, the incumbent should be very concerned.
But the election that I will be following closest is the Democratic gubernatorial race. I don't care who wins, but I will be reporting on two of the candidates, Dan Onorato and Jack Wagner, from their campaign parties tonight in Pittsburgh. The stories will appear at www.pa2010.com, a political website that will serve as a dragnet for every major competitive race in Pennsylvania. Thirteen reporters from across the state will file updates via the PA2010 blog, upload candidate videos and write stories while embedded at campaign victory (or sulking) parties.
So get out and vote today, and then follow up-to-the-minute election night coverage on www.pa2010.com.
UPDATE: BLB Guest Columnist Amanda Gillooly will be following the 4th District Republican primary race between Mary Beth Buchanan and Keith Rothfus for PA2010. She will be reporting throughout the night from both campaign parties in Wexford, Pa., so make sure to check out the District-4 race as well.
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