Key events in career of former Sen. Arlen Specter

Monday - 10/15/2012, 2:44am EDT

By The Associated Press

(AP) - Major events in the timeline of outgoing Sen. Arlen Specter's career in politics:

_ 1959: Hired as an assistant district attorney in Philadelphia.

_ 1964: Serves on the Warren Commission, which concludes that a lone assassin killed President John F. Kennedy.

_ 1965: Runs successfully on Republican ticket for Philadelphia district attorney, even though he was a Democrat.

_ 1967: Loses election for Philadelphia mayor.

_ 1969: Elected to second term as district attorney.

_ 1973: Loses bid for third term as district attorney.

_ 1976: Loses GOP Senate primary.

_ 1978: Loses GOP gubernatorial primary.

_ 1980: Wins Pennsylvania's open U.S. Senate seat and joins new Republican majority in the chamber.

_ 1986: Elected to second term in Senate.

_ 1987: Helps defeat President Ronald Reagan's Supreme Court nomination of Robert H. Bork.

_ 1991: Aggressively questions Anita Hill during Clarence Thomas' Supreme Court nomination hearing.

_ 1992: Elected to third term in Senate.

_ 1995: Announces candidacy for president. Suspends campaign later that year amid fundraising difficulties.

_ 1998: Elected to fourth term in Senate.

_ 2004: Ekes out win in Senate GOP primary, beating U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey by 17,146 votes, or 1.6 percentage points. Wins a fifth term in November.

_ 2005: Begins two-year term as chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee.

_ February 2009: Votes for Democrats' economic stimulus package, inflaming GOP sentiment against him.

_ April 15, 2009: Toomey announces he will mount another challenge to Specter in 2010 Senate GOP primary.

_ April 28, 2009: Specter announces he is changing party registration from Republican to Democrat.

_ August 4, 2009: Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak announces his Senate candidacy.

_ May 18, 2010: Sestak defeats Specter in Democratic Party primary.

_ Dec. 22, 2010: Specter takes last vote in Senate.

_ Jan. 3, 2011: Senate term ends.

_ Oct. 19, 2011: In speech, Specter blames the tea party for removing GOP moderates, says Washington gridlock has become "like a war."

_Aug. 28, 2012: Confirms that he is battling cancer again, calls it "another battle I intend to win."

_Oct. 14, 2012: Son confirms Specter's death at his Philadelphia home of complications of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.


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