A champion of progressive politics has announced that he will run for Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania in 2018.
John Fetterman is currently serving in his third term as Mayor of Braddock. His efforts to revitalize the economically troubled Pittsburgh suburb have garnered national recognition, including feature stories in the New York Times and Rolling Stone.
In first campaign video, which was released Tuesday morning, Fetterman said towns like Braddock are not getting the assistance needed from higher levels of government to address the problems afflicting them.
"It's about getting a bigger platform, and that's why I'm running for Lt. Governor," Fetterman said in the video. "We have to do better than just managing the decline, and I have to believe that we are better than that as a county."
Fetterman discusses in the video the ways in which the environment of Braddock has improved since he became mayor 12 years ago, including in terms of public safety and small business. He said the key to this achievement is that he and the residents of Braddock have never given up on making the town a "better, more safe, more just, more prosperous community."
"That's been our mandate, that's been our mantra," Fetterman said in the video. "You gotta get busy living or get busy dying."
The piece opens with footage of President Donald Trump during his presidential campaign. Trump proclaimed that he was the only presidential candidate capable of turning around struggling Rust Belt towns like Braddock.
"It's just such a fundamentally unjust situation that we have. Leadership in this country will turn around and use towns and places like mine as props," Fetterman said in the video. "Donald Trump hasn't shown up since then, and he won't, because he never cared about places like this."
With the launch of his campaign, Fetterman will visit Philadelphia this week. The candidate for Lt. Governor will be holding a meet and greet at Irish Pub, 1123 Walnut Street, on Wednesday, Nov. 15, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Last year, Fetterman ran against Katie McGinty and Joe Sestak for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator of Pennsylvania. Though Fetterman lost the race to McGinty (who subsequently lost to Republican incumbent Pat Toomey), his campaign earned him a widely unexpected 20 percent of the vote.
A supporter of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election, Fetterman’s political stances on issues such as income inequality, LGBTQ rights, healthcare and education have drawn many comparisons to the Vermont Senator.
With his massive stature (standing 6’8”), tattoos and casual demeanor, Fetterman is also known for his unusual appearance in the U.S. political spectrum.
In addition to Fetterman, current Lt. Governor Mike Stack faces two other challengers in the Democratic primary: Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone and Aryanna Beringer.