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Documenting the Political Partying Circuit
From the early hours of the morning until late in the evening, politicians are partying. Sunlight's PARTY TIME can help you find out who is partying, where and when.

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2010 Elections competitive races • POSTED - 05.19.10 BY Lisa Chiu

Specter jettisoned; Rand Paul rides tea party wave; Arkansas Dem. Fight continues

After 29 years as the senator from Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter was voted out by Democratic primary voters yesterday in favor of a two-term House member, Rep. Joe Sestak, who currently represents the state’s 7th congressional district. Sestak will now face Republican and former U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey for the seat in November.

Five Hundred miles away in the Kentucky senate race, Republican tea party candidate Rand Paul bested Trey Grayson, the secretary of state who won the endorsement of Sen. Mitch McConnell, the top Republican in the Senate. Paul, the son of Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, will face Democrat Jack Conway, the state’s attorney general, for the seat in November.

In Arkansas, moderate Democrat Blanche Lincoln must continue to fight for her Senate seat, as results from the state’s Democratic primary have found no clear majority against Lt. Gov. Bill Halter for the party’s nomination. The two will face-off in a runoff election on June 8th.

Other notable results:

Democrat Mark Critz won a special election for the open seat of late Congressman John Murtha for the remaining seven months of Murthas term for Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District. Critz recently held a fundraiser at Lounge 201 in Washington D.C., according to Party Times list of invites. In attendance were Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen, and the Pennsylvania Democratic Delegation.

Democrat U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski, of the 11th congressional district of Pennsylvania, moves on to battle his Republican challenger, Hazleton, Pa., mayor Lou Barletta in the November ballot. According to Party Time invites, Kanjorski has held eight fundraisers since the beginning of the year, the latest was a May 12 fundraiser at the Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar, where for $5,000, people could host the event and for $1,000 they could attend. There is only one invite in Party Times files for Lou Barletta, an October 2008 fundraiser at the Capital Grille.

Republican Congressman Charlie Dent easily defeated tea party challenger Mat Benol and will face Democrat John Callahan for Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District in November. Since January, Dent has held 10 fundraisers, according to Party Time invites. He also has a fundraiser planned for May 25th, to celebrate his Big 50th Birthday with special guests. For $1,500, political action committees can participate and for $750 individuals can wish him a happy half-century.

Republican Rick Crawford won the GOP nominee for the 1st congressional district of Arkansas against Princella Smith, who at 26, hoped to become the youngest member of congress. Crawford faces a Democratic challenger who won’t be decided until a June 8th run-off election. Contenders will likely include Tim Wooldridge and Chad Causey.

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PARTYFINDER™ Hints

Beneficiary: congressional candidate, lawmaker, or entity which collects funds raised at party

Host: person who is hosting party-often, but not always, a registered federal lobbyist

Venue Name: where the party is

Entertainment Type: type of gathering, such as "breakfast," "ski trip," "bowling"

Other Lawmakers Mentioned: lawmakers mentioned on invitation who are used as a draw for the event

Sunlight's Party Time is a project to track parties for members of Congress or congressional candidates that happen all year round in Washington, D.C. and beyond. (read more)

We also post information we receive about parties where members of Congress are expected to participate—such as convention or inaugural parties.

Since we don't hear about all the parties, you can also tell us if you know where the party is and we don't.