Correction: The original version of this post incorrectly said former representative Joe Sestak (Pa.) lost in the 2010 Senate Democratic primary to Sen. Arlen Specter. Sestak defeated Specter but lost in the general election to current Sen. Patrick Toomey (R).
Of all the obstacles retired Air Force Gen. John Douglass (D) faces in his bid to unseat Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), the biggest one might be money — as a veteran incumbent, Wolf will be able to raise campaign cash with relative ease.
Now Douglass is getting a bit of financial help from a man he hopes to emulate, former representative Joe Sestak (D-Pa.).
Sestak, a retired Navy admiral, won a congressional seat in 2006 after a 30-year military career, spending two terms in the House. Sestak defeated Sen. Arlen Specter in the 2010 Senate Democratic primary but lost in the general election to current Sen. Patrick Toomey (R).
On Friday, Douglass’s campaign sent out an e-mail authored by Sestak, asking for donations for his fellow veteran.
“Since I left office, I am frequently told by others that they wish there was still a senior military officer serving in Congress, because they know we are not afraid to fight,” Sestak writes.
Sestak says the two men crossed paths when Douglass was assistant Secretary of the Navy, and “I quickly learned that John’s reputation of being a ‘no nonsense’, ‘goal oriented’ and ‘get the job done’ Assistant Secretary was well earned.”
Sestak writes that he is trying to help Douglass raise $10,000 before the Sept. 30 third-quarter fundraising deadline. Douglass entered the race in early May and had raised $101,000 as of June 30, with $39,000 of that coming from his own pocket.
Douglass is one of several career military officers who have run for Congress from Virginia in recent cycles. He is considered an underdog against Wolf, who has won reelection with relative ease and whose 10th district may become more favorable to Republicans once Virginia’s redistricting process is complete.