HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s larger-than-life lieutenant governor, the 6-foot-8, bald, and tattooed John Fetterman, will run for U.S. Senate, making the announcement Monday after kicking off an exploratory fundraising marketing campaign final month that raised over $1 million.

Will probably be the second bid for U.S. Senate by the plainspoken 51-year-old Democrat. He could in the end see competitors from a member of Congress for his celebration’s nomination in what might change into the nation’s best Senate race in 2022.

In the meantime, on the Republican aspect, quite a few names are circulating — together with former Trump administration figures. One other chance is Jeff Bartos, a suburban Philadelphia actual property investor who began working for U.S. Senate earlier than switching horses to change into Fetterman’s opponent for lieutenant governor in 2018.

The Senate seat within the presidential battleground is being left open after two-term Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey introduced in October that he wouldn’t run once more.

Fetterman is by far the highest-profile identify in Pennsylvania politics to indicate curiosity in working. He received his begin in elective workplace in 2006 because the mayor of impoverished Braddock, a tiny metal city simply outdoors of Pittsburgh the place three-fourths of the residents are Black.

It was there that the Harvard-educated Fetterman grew to become one thing of a road fighter for progressive values, in addition to a minor media star for his work.

“What I carry is a 20-year file of consistency in embracing the identical core points that the Democratic Get together has come to embrace,” Fetterman stated in a current interview.

In 2010, he was arrested for refusing to go away the College of Pittsburgh Medical Heart’s company headquarters in protest over the closing of a hospital in Braddock, a trigger that raised broader points about inequality and the dearth of entry to well being care.

Later, he carried out same-sex marriage ceremonies in his residence earlier than a federal choose’s ruling made it authorized in Pennsylvania.

Together with his loss within the Democratic major in 2016’s Senate race, he’s a veteran of two statewide campaigns, is an ever-present visitor on cable information exhibits and has an enormous social media following.

On TV and on Twitter, he has taken on Trump with gusto, attacking falsehoods about voter fraud peddled by Trump and Republicans after the November election.

Apart from the celebration’s bedrock points, he’s a fervent advocate for legalizing marijuana, criticizing the battle on “a plant” as pointless, counterproductive and disproportionately inflicting legal data onto Black individuals.


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