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Specter gives Democrats 59 votes

specterFinding his "political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans," Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania  switched parties today. In the process, he thumbed his nose at an anticipated conservative GOP challenge next year by saying, "I am unwilling to have my 29-year Senate record judged by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate." With Specter, Democrats now have 59 seats. If Al Franken can get clear of the legal challenges to his win in Minnesota, he would be the 60th. Specter's move must be bitter for his old colleague Bob Dole; Specter lived in Wichita from 1930 until the family moved in 1942 to Russell, where his family did business with Dole's family.