Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman announced on Monday that he will run for the state’s highly competitive Senate seat next year ahead of Republican Sen. Pat Toomey’s retirement, Politico reports.
Fetterman, the 6-foot-8 Democrat who emerged as a vocal foil to former President Donald Trump’s attempts to lodge baseless allegations of fraud in the state’s election, has long been eyed as a Pittsburgh-area progressive that could turn the seat blue.
Fetterman already raised $1.4 million ahead of his announcement and drew the support of steelworker and food worker unions.
Fetterman previously lost his 2016 Senate primary before winning by double digits in his lieutenant governor campaign two years later.
Democrats also expect Democratic Reps. Conor Lamb and Brendan Boyle to jump into the primary race.
Fetterman pushes labor support:
Fetterman highlighted his support for unions and a $15 minimum wage in his campaign kickoff.
He also vowed to push to legalize marijuana and strengthen LGBTQ rights.
“I’m running because it’s kind of closing the circle on a 20-year journey I’ve been on,” the former Braddock mayor told Politico. “I came to Braddock here 20 years ago in 2001, and it was a deliberate choice to do that. It was one of the most marginalized, forgotten, overlooked and abandoned communities in the state. And I wanted to work [for] issues — the central theme was inequality — and that’s what I did.”
Fetterman splits with some Dems:
Fetterman pushed back on centrist Democrats who want to lower the income cap for the next round of stimulus checks to $50,000, calling it a “tragedy,” and said he supports repealing the filibuster.
“Let’s be honest here: If Mitch McConnell is for something, that should give anyone pause to be like, ‘well, then I probably should be against it,’” he told Politico.
But despite his progressive credentials, he could split with the left on certain issues.
He opposes a ban on fracking, a big industry in the state, and has not backed the “Green New Deal.”
Fetterman told Politico he supports parts of the Green New Deal but “we can’t just throw [out] all of these union jobs and all these workers’ jobs and say, ‘Well, just go learn to code and maybe you can get on at Google or someplace.’”