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Senator Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania) has finally become a Democrat.

News Flash: Arlen Specter Switches Party

In a stunning (though not completely unexpected) move, Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter has switched parties. The 79-year old former Republican had been courted before. And had even flirted with the idea of becoming an Independent (sort of the Republicans’ Joe Lieberman). But as late as March Spector told reporters that he had intended to run in the 2010 Pennsylvania Senatorial primary as a Republican. The senator, who would be considered a moderate among Republicans has been at odds frequently with his party as it has been drawn further and further to the right.

 A liberal on such issues as abortion and the environment, he had been under increasing fire from his own party and would likely be challenged in the Pennsylvania Senatorial primary next year. "I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary," he said in a statement early this afternoon.  Saying that he felt his politics were more in line with the Democrats at this point, Specter assured voters and the public that he would likely remain as independent as a Democrat, as he had been as a Republican. "Change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans," he said.

Spector has served in the Senate since 1980, and was selected as one of Time Magazine’s top senators in 2006. His party switch would give the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, should Minnesota Democrat Al Franken be seated.

About Barbara Barnett

Barbara Barnett is Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (blogcritics.org). Her Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel, called "Anne Rice meets Michael Crichton," The Apothecary's Curse The Apothecary's Curse is now out from Pyr, an imprint of Prometheus Books. Her book on the TV series House, M.D., Chasing Zebras is a quintessential guide to the themes, characters and episodes of the hit show. Barnett is an accomplished speaker, an annual favorite at MENSA's HalloWEEM convention, where she has spoken to standing room crowds on subjects as diverse as "The Byronic Hero in Pop Culture," "The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes," "The Hidden History of Science Fiction," and "Our Passion for Disaster (Movies)."

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