Lt. Gov. John Fetterman wins U.S. Senate Democratic Primary | Politics | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman wins U.S. Senate Democratic Primary

click to enlarge Lt. Gov. John Fetterman wins U.S. Senate Democratic Primary (3)
CP Photo: Ladimir Garcia
Pa. Second Lady Gisele Fetterman speaks during John Fetterman's Primary Election Night Rally on Tue., May 17, 2022.
There was something noticeably missing from U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman’s Election Night Rally on Tuesday night: John Fetterman.

As the current Pa. lieutenant governor was declared the Democratic winner of the state’s primary election for U.S. Senate on May 17, Fetterman was in the hospital recovering from a procedure to implant a pacemaker to address a stroke he had days before the election.

But although Fetterman wasn’t present at the event, his wife, Gisele Fetterman, still celebrated his victory in Pittsburgh.

She joined an excited crowd celebrating his victory in the Hyatt Regency at the Pittsburgh International Airport where supporters waved campaign “Terrible Towels,” printed with Fetterman’s name across the gold material, as MSNBC declared Fetterman as the projected winner.

“John and I want to make sure that everyone in Pennsylvania can find the American dream here, too,” says Gisele, who came to the U.S. from Brazil as an undocumented child and became a U.S. citizen in 2009.
click to enlarge Lt. Gov. John Fetterman wins U.S. Senate Democratic Primary (2)
CP Photo: Ladimir Garcia
A John Fetterman Terrible Towel, distributed during his Election Night Rally
Shortly after the Associated Press called the race for Fetterman, President Joe Biden began campaigning for the candidate in the fall general election, tweeting that electing Fetterman “would be a big step forward for Pennsylvania’s working people.”

At his Election Night Rally, candidates expressed excitement over Fetterman’s win over Conor Lamb, Malcolm Kenyatta, and Alexandria Khalil.
“I think what excites me most about John Fetterman as a senator is I just think that he comes off as very approachable and very authentic,” Adam Engelman, a supporter at the rally, tells Pittsburgh City Paper. “And I think he will give a voice to communities in Pennsylvania that might not have had voices for many, many years.”

Gisele emphasizes that he isn't like other politicians because he still resonates with his roots.

“It’s not just that John looks nothing like a politician, and is deliriously handsome, it’s because John doesn’t act like them,” she says. “At heart, he’s still a hard working, scrappy, small-town man.”

Supporters at the rally gave various answers when it came to what the most important issue was to them in the upcoming election including inflation, infrastructure, and the economy, but a recurring topic was abortion rights.

Engelman says that with the recent leak of the Supreme Court’s pledge to overturn Roe v. Wade, abortion is “right up there” as a top issue for most Americans. Lisa Freeman, another supporter at the rally, tells City Paper racial inequities and LGBTQ rights are also important.
Lamb’s campaign sent out a statement on the results on Tuesday evening, pledging to give his support to Fetterman in the fall general election.

“Our entire democracy is on the line in November. Democrats need to be unequivocally united in our defense of this democracy, and we will be,” Lamb says. “John’s vote in the Senate is essential to protect this democracy, and he will have my vote in November. I will do everything I can to help Democrats win.”

Fetterman will face either David McCormick or Mehmet Oz in November. At press time, the Republican race for U.S. Senate was too close to call.


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By Mars Johnson