Image: Joe Sestak
George Widman  /  AP
With his 5-year-old daughter, Alex, shunning cheers, and his wife, Susan, Democratic congressional challenger Joe Sestak speaks to an election eve rally in 2006.
updated 2/19/2010 5:24:50 PM ET 2010-02-19T22:24:50

U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak says the White House offered him a federal job in an effort to persuade him not to mount a Democratic primary challenge against Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

During a taping Thursday of the Comcast Network's "Larry Kane: Voice of Reason" show, he said he was offered a high-ranking job but turned it down. His spokesman, Jonathon Dworkin, said Friday that Sestak stands by his comments.

Questioned after a stop at senior citizen center in Pittsburgh, Sestak said there was nothing to be gained by providing further details.

"I'm in the race, that's all that matters," he said.

The White House told The Associated Press that it had no immediate comment.

Specter defected in April from a Republican Party that he said had grown too conservative for him to win another term.

Sestak, a retired Navy admiral and two-term congressman, has attacked Specter's votes for GOP positions and questioned his loyalty to the Democratic Party.

Ethics attorneys in Washington said such offers are common.

Melanie Sloan, director of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, described it as "politics as usual."

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments