Reid welcomes Specter into Democratic Party

WASHINGTON Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:55pm EDT

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid quickly embraced Arlen Specter as a fellow Democrat on Tuesday just minutes after Specter, a longtime Republican, said he would run for reelection next year as a Democrat.

"Yes," Reid told Reuters when asked if he now considered Specter a member of his party.

"I welcome Senator Specter and his moderate voice to our diverse caucus, and to continuing our open and honest debate about the best way to make life better for the American people," Reid said afterward in a statement.

(Reporting by Thomas Ferraro and Rick Cowan)