John Fetterman

There is perhaps no candidate on the national scene more unique than John Fetterman. Renowned for showing up at official functions in athletic shorts, the 6’9” Lieutenant Governor has run a compelling campaign. Even as he recovered from a stroke, his campaign remained visible, attacking his Trump-hugging opponent, TV celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz for being a carpetbagger.

Fetterman doesn’t look or talk like a typical politician, and he hasn’t followed the traditional path to running for office. He describes himself as “just a Democrat” and believes other labels are irrelevant although he clearly holds what many believe are left-leaning views – on climate, on criminal justice, on income inequality.

As a result, although both Cook and Sabato continue to call the race a toss up, polling shows Fetterman with a substantial lead and fundraising advantage. This seat represents the single biggest opportunity that Democrats have to flip a Senate seat in 2022.


Fetterman was born to teen parents and grew up in York, Pa. His father worked a union job at a grocery before becoming successful in the insurance industry; both of Fetterman’s parents are conservative Republicans. He was all set to follow his dad into insurance until a tragedy knocked him off course: in 1993, a friend was killed in a fatal car accident on the way to pick him up. Fetterman began volunteering with the Boys & Girls Club. He joined AmeriCorps in Pittsburgh, got a degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and started teaching GED classes in Braddock, a western Pennsylvania town that had been decimated by the loss of local steel jobs.

After two of his students were gunned down, Fetterman ran for mayor of Braddock in 2005. For the next 13 years, he worked to revitalize a town once known as the “murder capital” of the region, implementing youth anti-violence programs that helped it go five years without a homicide. The dates of every murder in Braddock that happened on his watch are tattooed on Fetterman’s right forearm.

In 2018 Fetterman ran to be Pennsylvania’s Lieutenant Governor, and  dominated across the commonwealth, winning a five-way Democratic primary and a commanding victory in the general election.  As Lt. Governor, Fetterman has transformed the position and made a bully pulpit of the office, advocating for economic justice and criminal justice reform.  He and his wife have chosen not to settle in the LG’s mansion, instead opening up the pool in the official residence to children who typically wouldn’t have access to one.


John Fetterman is a strong supporter of women’s rights.  After the recent Supreme Court ruling on abortion, he said “Deciding how and when to become a mother is a decision that should always be made by a woman and her doctor, not politicians.” 

No issue is perhaps closer to John Fetterman’s heart than gun violence, which he worked hard to eradicate as Mayor of Braddock.  As a US Senator, he would eliminate the filibuster not only to enact a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, but also to implement universal background checks on all gun sales.

Long a warrior for environmental justice, Fetterman believes that climate change is an existential threat, that we need to transition to clean energy as quickly as possible, and that we can create millions of good union jobs in the process.


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