A challenger for Joe Sestak in PA-7
meet W. Craig Williams
By AcademicElephant Posted in 2008 — Comments (9) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Rep. Joe Sestak, who defeated long-time PA Republican Curt Weldon in a high-profile 2006 mid-term race, has a challenger in 2008. W. Craig Williams, a veteran of the first Gulf War and a former ADA in Philadelphia, has thrown his hat into the ring.
More below the fold.
There are a number of reasons for Sestak's victory in '06, starting with Weldon's own weakness. The Congressman was mired in a personal scandal and the campaign quickly got down and dirty, which wound up reflecting badly on Weldon. You see, Rep. Sestak is a retired Navy vice admiral who is outspokenly hostile to the Iraq war. This combination proved a winner for Democrats in '06, as principled military who were not afraid to speak the truth about failure in Iraq and the need for immediate withdrawal were the flavor of the year. Rep. Sestak's supporters dubbed him the "Progressive Patriot." By contrast, Mr. Weldon seemed a corrupt dinosaur who was out of touch with the wishes of the people.
But since he's been in office, Rep. Sestak, like most of the anti-war candidates, has proven something of a disappointment to the anti-war crowd. Here we are a year into his term and there are more troops in Iraq now than last year. How can that be? A group of worthies marched on his office earlier this month to demand accountability, and while the Congressman did try to talk to them they were not buying his new line about "orderly withdrawal." They want the troops out NOW, and consider anything else a betrayal of the forces who supported his election.
And then, on the other hand, you have the improving reports from Iraq which may make a candidate like Sestak less appealing to the bulk of suburban Philadelphia voters. Enter W. Craig Williams. He has military credentials of his own. He is a proponant of the war and has the added advantage of having a reputation as a "tough on crime" DA in a city where the opposite is far too often the case and has taken a strong stance on illegal immigration. Read more about him here. With continued progress in Iraq and a disillusioned base, it seems a plain old "patriot" might have a shot at reclaiming Rep. Weldon's seat.
ADA Williams should have a campaign site up and running in the coming weeks. Rep. Sestak already has close to $1.7 million in his war chest for the campaign, so if we're serious about taking back some of the Congressional seats lost in 2006, this would be an excellent place to start.