“Pennsylvania will be the most important Senate race in 2022”, Fetterman wrote in the email, which included a bold link to send him donations. “I am convinced that we can win if we do it. But before I make the call to announce a campaign, I want to get an idea of how many of you would be with us. “
Fetterman, who was elected lieutenant governor in 2018, has a national audience thanks to a liberal platform and the unique image he began to build when he was mayor of Braddock, Pa., A city of steel hardscrabble near Pittsburgh. A towering 6-foot-8-inch tall figure, Fetterman generally eschews traditional politician attire, instead wearing shirt sleeves and shorts year round – except for ceremonies that require more formal attire.
In his fundraising memo, Fetterman said he would fight for a number of progressive priorities, including a minimum wage of “at least” $ 15 an hour, national legalization of marijuana and the fight for “the union way of life and our workers”.
The announcement of Toomey’s retirement last fall marked the start of a two-year reorganization of Pennsylvania’s political scene. In addition to an open Senate seat, Democratic Governor Tom Wolf is limited for term, and the two top positions will be up for grabs in 2022.
Among Democrats statewide, Fetterman was generally expected to run for the Senate, while Attorney General Josh Shapiro is reportedly looking to replace Wolf in Harrisburg. Fetterman confirmed to The Associated Press on Friday that he would not be running for governor. Shapiro has yet to announce his plans.
But other Democrats could compete in both races, including Reps Conor Lamb and Chrissy Houlahan, and Montgomery County Commissioners Council Chairman Val Arkoosh, who ran for Congress in 2014.
On the Republican side, Representative Mike Kelly, who campaigned to reject the 2020 presidential election results in a bid to deny President-elect Joe Biden the Pennsylvania voters he won, is considered a candidate possible for either race. Others are considering making it to both primaries, including former rep Ryan Costello.
It would mark Fetterman’s second campaign for the Senate. In 2016, he finished third in the Democratic primary, behind former Rep. Joe Sestak and eventual candidate Katie McGinty. McGinty narrowly lost to Toomey, as Hillary Clinton suddenly hesitated at the top of the ticket.
But since that primary, Fetterman has won the post of lieutenant governor statewide. And, more recently, he has emerged as a frequent cable news and social media commentator, defending the presidential election results from Republicans who sought to question the legitimacy of Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania and elsewhere.
Holly Otterbein of Philadelphia contributed to this report.