Democrats in my family had been supporting Arlen Specter since 1986, when his son Shannon organized an outreach effort at Congreso Latino. Specter's campaigns were always tight; he never took anything for granted. But when he became a Democrat, the Democratic machine got Arlen to stop being Arlen. There wasn't the outreach that was so effective that Latino Democrats would vote for a Republican.

Politics is local, but Specter stopped being local, and the Democratic Party bosses should blame only one person for that. They should stop trying to pass the buck to President Obama and Vice President Biden. Arlen Specter stopped being the old Arlen who fought for every vote and didn't rely on a machine.

I am sad to see Arlen go, but he stopped being who he was. I just hope that Joe Sestak can continue that past legacy of outreach, and that Specter will know that the DeLeon household will always be thankful that he served in the Senate for so long. No other Philadelphian ever opened his office to so many minorities. I wish he had stayed Republican. We would have beaten Pat Toomey one more time.

Jose DeLeon

Philadelphia