John Fetterman, Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor, has won the state's Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, according to a race call from The Associated Press.
Fetterman's win was expected despite the fact that he suffered a stroke last weekend and was unable to attend the last round of campaign events. On Tuesday his campaign announced he was about to undergo a procedure to implant a pacemaker.
Why It Matters
Fetterman's unconventional style and progressive politics, which include outspoken support for cannabis legalization and opposition to the filibuster, clearly resonated in Pennsylvania, which has become a purple swing state. Though many conservatives in his own party were not behind his candidacy, if Fetterman goes on to replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, the Democrats could flip a seat in the evenly-divided Senate.
Fetterman defeated U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, a more moderate candidate who failed to make any significant traction against the 52-year-old Fetterman, and State Sen. Malcolm Kenyatta, who was looking to become the first-ever LGBTQ candidate elected to statewide office in Pennsylvania.
The 6-foot-9 Fetterman, who often wears shorts to campaign events and has the persona of an authentic anti-politician, will advance to November’s general election. He will face the winner of the as-yet undecided but hotly contested Republican primary that includes Dr. Mehmet Oz, ex-hedge fund CEO David McCormick and community activist Kathy Barnette.
Fetterman has vowed to be a reliable vote for organized labor and liberal causes in Washington. Democrats see the seat being vacated by retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey as among their best pickup opportunities in the country.
In a tweet, Fetterman said he was "deeply honored" to have won the nomination.
I'm sorry to sound like a broken record, but it's never been more true.— John Fetterman (@JohnFetterman) May 18, 2022
Thank you *so* much for making me your Democratic nominee. Thank you for everything PA. pic.twitter.com/9KEpfbmZCD
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