Pa. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman throws his hat in the US Senate ring

Written by on February 8, 2021

Pa. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman throws his hat in the US Senate ring

By Katie Meyer / WHYY

February 8, 2021

Pa. Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman speaks to the press after Sheppard’s hearing. Photo| Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

Democratic Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman has become the first major candidate to officially launch a campaign for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat in 2022, surprising no one.  

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Fetterman, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate once before, has a steadily rising national profile and has long been considered a likely contender for the seat being vacated by incumbent U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA)

Fetterman is a staunch progressive and has often tied himself politically to Democratic Socialists like U.S Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT).  

But announcing his U.S. Senate run, Fetterman says his goal is to unite working people across Pennsylvania. 

Muhlenberg College Political Analyst Christopher Borick says it’s hard to thread a political needle between liberal voters in cities and increasingly conservative rural voters. But he thinks there’s a chance Fetterman can do it.  

“I think there’s potential in bringing that coalition together, of working-class Pennsylvanians, that might transcend some of the racial, ethnic, regional, ideological divides,” Borick says. “It’s certainly not easy to do. Because some of those other identities and divides are not always easily overcome and put together in a coalition.” 

Some say the race for U.S. Senate will likely be crowded and competitive, on both sides of the aisle. 

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