If you were to look at Gisele Fetterman’s social media and study her photos with her husband, John, you might think she doesn’t know what she’s doing. John is 6’8” and is constantly getting most of his head cropped out of Gisele’s photos. It looks amateurish, but in reality it is a long running joke, one that has been adapted by many others in the Pennsylvania social media world. Both Gisele and John lean into it.
It’s the very nature of the joke that makes the Fettermans an obvious choice for Pittsburgh’s best power couple. The couple is well-known and hold high profile positions, yet remain adored by Pittsburgh readers. Their direct interactions with Pittsburghers and Pennsylvanians alike made the choice easy for Best Of voters. The couple has been that way since they entered the public sphere, when John ran against the incumbent mayor of Braddock in 2005 and won by a single vote; he later ran in the Democratic primary to challenge Pat Toomey's senate seat in 2016 and lost the nomination to Katie McGinty. But he later won the race for Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor in 2018.
Though the Fettermans have a powerful influence in the state, both maintain a very personal connection with people in the area. Even as lieutenant governor, John replies to just about anyone on Twitter. Gisele founded the nonprofit Free Store, co-founded by 412 Food Rescue, and snagged CP’s best activist award in 2017, but loves taking Instagram photos with fans or talking in depth about immigration with critics.
They have maintained that commitment to making personal connections in their professional lives, too. John toured all 67 Pennsylvania counties in 2018, meeting with constituents on a listening tour about the possibilities of enacting recreational marijuana legislation in the state. Gisele has been in charge of water safety programs at the lieutenant governor’s mansion pool. The couple doesn’t stay at the official residence, but they opened it to the public this year in hopes of providing a swimming pool to kids who normally don't have access to one.
It’s that combination of power without pretension that Pittsburghers love. It’s what the Fettermans bring to the table. Clearly the sign of a true power couple.