John Fetterman suffers stroke in final days of Democratic U.S. Senate campaign

Written by on May 15, 2022

John Fetterman suffers stroke in final days of Democratic U.S. Senate campaign

By The Associated Press
May 15, 2022

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat running for U.S. Senate, has suffered a stroke but is on his way to a “full recovery.”

That’s according to a statement from the campaign on Sunday.

Listen to the story.

The campaign said Fetterman wasn’t feeling well Friday and went to the hospital. But in the statement, Fetterman says: “The good news is I’m feeling much better, and the doctors tell me I didn’t suffer any cognitive damage.”

The news comes just two days ahead of Tuesday’s primary, where Fetterman is considered the leading candidate in the four-person Democratic field.

Fetterman, 52, said the stroke occurred from a clot caused by his heart being in atrial fibrillation. Doctors at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital in Lancaster, Pa., were able to remove the clot and reverse the stroke, he said. His heart rhythm also was brought under control.

Fetterman in a news release said doctors have assured him he’ll be able to get back to campaigning, but his campaign says he will remain in the hospital through Tuesday.

“They’re keeping me here for now for observation, but I should be out of here sometime soon,” he said. “The doctors have assured me that I’ll be able to get back on the trail, but first I need to take a minute, get some rest, and recover. There’s so much at stake in this race, and I’m going to be ready for the hard fight ahead. 

“But our campaign isn’t slowing down one bit, and we are still on track to win this primary on Tuesday, and flip this Senate seat in November.”

Many had considered Fetterman the Democratic front-runner in the primary based on polling.

He said he went to the hospital to get checked out Friday after he hadn’t been feeling well.

“I didn’t want to go – I didn’t think I had to – but (his wife) Gisele insisted, and as usual, she was right. I hadn’t been feeling well, but was so focused on the campaign that I ignored the signs and just kept going. On Friday it finally caught up with me.”

Other Democrats in the race are U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb of western Pennsylvania, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta of Philadelphia and Jenkintown Borough Councilmember Alex Khalil. The winner of the Democratic primary will face the winner from the Republican ticket in November. The U.S. Senate seat is being vacated by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., who is not seeking re-election.

Sign up for our WLVR weekly newsletter to stay up to date with the latest news from the Lehigh Valley and across Pennsylvania.


Current track