Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman formally announced Monday what has been evident since his unsuccessful first campaign for U.S. Senate: He’s taking another shot at it.Fetterman, who launched his campaign with a video for supporters, is the first officially declared major candidate in what is shaping up as a crowded 2022 field for both parties. He enters the Democratic primary touting endorsements from labor unions, a campaign account that has swelled to almost $1.5 million since he told The Inquirer last month that he was considering becoming a candidate, and a progressive track record.“I didn’t just show up at this dance,” said Fetterman, who started his political career in 2005 as mayor of Braddock, outside Pittsburgh. “The Democratic Party has moved distinctly in my direction, as opposed to away from my direction. And it’s because I have always run on what I believe and know to be true, even when it’s not popular.”
In an interview to mark his official campaign announcement, Mr. Fetterman said he was influenced to run by what happened the last three months, from elected officials falsely claiming that Pennsylvania led a stolen, rigged election to supporters of former President Donald Trump storming the Capitol.
Asked why he thinks he's been able to raise so much money so quickly, Mr. Fetterman responded that he was proud to defend Pennsylvania to a national audience from “this idea that American democracy was under full frontal assault led by the commander in chief [Mr. Trump] who knew better than anybody that this was a lie.”
Though the election isn't until next year, Mr. Fetterman said Pennsylvanians can count on him — no matter when — to advocate for a living wage, fight for “the union way of life,” stand beside the LGBTQIA community and immigrants, “dismantle” the war on drugs and legalize marijuana and focus on building up marginalized and forgotten communities. He said his values haven't changed since he first came to Braddock in 2001.
“I don't care if you put it on the political spectrum of progressive or otherwise,” Mr. Fetterman said. “I just know these to be fundamental truths.”
Though he emerged as one of the loudest voices against rhetoric that captivated many Trump supporters, Mr. Fetterman said many come from small, rural counties not much unlike Braddock or Rankin in the challenges they face. He said he'd never write off any voter, though there are “clearly members of [the Republican] party that are not reachable — just like our party has Democrats that would never vote for a Republican.” Legal weed, he said, is something a majority of Trump voters want, too.
Received this e-mail today from Fetterman’s U.S. Senate campaign:
So. Big news.
I’m officially running to represent Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate.
Today is important. We need to show as much momentum as possible in the first 24 hours, and how much money we raise is a big part of that. I have to ask…
The campaign we build together is gonna be special and it’s gonna be big. All 67 counties. Every vote matters. No one taken for granted.
You know I will say on the campaign what I believe to be true. Always have. I’ve fought for the same things for the last 20 years, as Mayor of Braddock + now as Lieutenant Governor. I haven’t had to “evolve” over time on the issues.
No to: Special interests, inequality, injustice, corporate control, hacky partisan political maneuvering.
Yes to: Legal weed ✅, universal health care, LGBTQIA+ protection under law
, the union way of life, second chances
, racial justice, ending COVID
, raising the minimum wage, beating climate change. Oh yeah, and Sheetz. Always Sheetz.
Look, I fight like hell for Pennsylvania, and I *always* have.
When state law banned marriage equality, I officiated one of the first gay marriages in Pennsylvania. When Braddock was overlooked + counted out, I made sure our community was heard. When the Pennsylvania GOP sent the flag police to take down my weed + pride flags from the state capitol, I put them back up.
Aaaand…. When the people of Pennsylvania demanded a Gritty statue made of butter, I got them a Gritty statue made of butter.
Gisele and I are humbled, overwhelmed, and *thankful* beyond words for your support so far. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!
Let’s do this thing.