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Sestak visits Cumberland County Democrats
Joe Sestak thanks his Democratic supporters, who gathered in Carlisle Saturday night to hear Sestak speak about his future.

It was a flashback to the November campaign for Cumberland County Democrats Saturday night as Joe Sestak paid a visit to party headquarters in Carlisle.

The former U.S. representative to Pennsylvania's 7th Congressional District has been on a "thank you" tour of the state since narrowly losing to Republican Pat Toomey in a bid for the U.S. Senate seat held by longtime lawmaker Arlen Specter.

Cumberland County was stop No. 51 on his tour of all 67 counties.

"I'd do it again in a heartbeat," the 59-year-old Sestak said about the roughly 18-month campaign as about 50 Democratic supporters gathered to talk to him about his future.

Sestak, who served two terms in Congress, said he has no regrets about running, adding that he "tried to play the best cards" he was dealt during the campaign.

His only regrets, he said, are that he is no longer in public office to work on legislation and help the people of Pennsylvania.

Sestak feels like he let down all of the volunteers and hard-working members of his team, but said he is a "glass-half-full guy" and realizes he "came that close" to winning.

One supporter shouted "keep running," to which Sestak responded that he intends to remain in public service moving forward.

"I haven't decided yet what to do," he said, expecting that decision will be made in the weeks and months to come. "Public service is what I want to do."

The retired Navy vice admiral said he wants to remain a part of the dialogue.

"I don't want to back away," he said.

Sestak added that he is hopeful the Democrats, who took a beating at the polls in November, don't just fight the other side moving forward.

"Voters want to know that we know them," he said, stressing the importance of putting yourself out there as a candidate and elected leader, being as honest as you can and willing to take risks.

According to the bureau of elections, Sestak earned just 34.5 percent of the total vote in Cumberland County, which has historically been dominated by Republicans.

He lost to Toomey by a 51 to 49 percent margin statewide.

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