U.S. Senate: John Fetterman vs. Mehmet Oz | Pittsburgh City Paper

U.S. Senate: John Fetterman vs. Mehmet Oz

click to enlarge U.S. Senate: John Fetterman vs. Mehmet Oz
CP Illustration: Lucy Chen
Two-term Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, announced his retirement in October 2020, opening this seat. USA Today calls it the country’s “most closely watched Senate race.” Pundits say that this race presents the best opportunity for Democrats to maintain control of the Senate if they can win this tight contest.

Third Party Candidates: The following third-party candidates will also appear on the ballot for Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race: Richard Weiss (Green Party), Daniel Wassmer (Keystone Party of Pennsylvania), and Erik Chase Gerhardt (Libertarian Party).

John Fetterman

Bio: Democrat. Grew up in York. Pennsylvania’s Lt. Gov. since 2019. Was mayor of Braddock from 2006 to 2019. Masters in public policy from Harvard. Previously worked in nonprofit sector. Advocate of criminal justice reform. Had stroke in May, but his doctor said he “can work full duty in public office.”

Policing and public safety: Introduced state-level legislation proposing police reform in 2019. Supports universal background checks, banning assault weapons, and ending protections for corporate gun manufacturers, according to WESA. Emphasizes the connection between gun violence and poverty.

Cannabis reform: Supports legalizing cannabis on the federal level and Gov. Wolf’s marijuana pardon program. Tweeted on 4/20 that we should “seriously commit ourselves to full marijuana legalization & ending the racist War on Drugs.”

Abortion: Campaign site says, “A woman’s right to make her own health care decisions is sacred and non-negotiable. Period.” Wants to codify abortion access in federal law and repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits Medicaid from covering abortion.

Reported fundraising since January 2021: $48.5 million

Mehmet Oz

Bio: Republican. Has never held elected office. Former cardiothoracic surgeon and TV show host. Lived for years in New Jersey. Recently bought home in Montgomery County. Undergrad degree from Harvard, grad degrees from University of Pennsylvania. Veteran of the Turkish Army.

Economy: Supports increased natural gas extraction to create jobs. Campaign site blames Biden for economic woes. Says we need to “get tough on China.”

Cannabis reform: Implied that legalizing cannabis would worsen unemployment rates. Supportive of medical cannabis. Repeatedly mischaracterized his opponent’s position by claiming that Fetterman wants to legalize all drugs.

Abortion: Campaign site says he is “100% Pro-Life.” Tells press he does not support criminal penalties for abortion, according to Pennsylvania Capital-Star, but that the federal government should leave abortion laws up to states, according to WGAL.

Reported fundraising since January 2021: $34.8 million