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A Hot Senate Race Gets a Bold New Contender

Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor John Fetterman is now officially running in competitive 2022 race
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2021 9:15 AM CST

(Newser) – He's 6 foot 8, sports tattoos on both forearms, boasts a master's from Harvard, and has been "portrayed as the face of the Rust Belt" since he served as the mayor of Braddock, Pa., per Politico. Now John Fetterman has a new announcement. "I'm running for the US Senate to fight for all of Pennsylvania," the 51-year-old Democrat, currently the state's lieutenant governor, tweeted Monday morning. Fetterman tells Politico—which notes Pennsylvania is viewed as the state where Democrats have the best chance to flip a Senate seat in 2022—that his run is "closing the circle" after arriving in Braddock 20 years ago, determined to help transform "one of the most marginalized, forgotten, overlooked, and abandoned communities in the state." Among issues he's championing are universal health care, unions, LGBTQ issues, racial justice, climate change, and marijuana legalization.

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Fetterman unsuccessfully ran in 2016 for the seat of current Sen. Pat Toomey, who's said he won't seek reelection. CNN notes that the Senate primary is likely going to be a "crowded and competitive" one, with Rep. Conor Lamb and Philly Mayor James Kenney seen as other possible contenders. Fetterman's announcement was accompanied by a series of tweets delivered in the blunt, sometimes snarky fashion he's become known for, noting that he "will always be 100% Sedition-Free" and that "if you sincerely believe healthcare is a privilege, I'm sincerely begging you to vote for the other candidate." He also issued a challenge in relation to his push for a $15 minimum wage. "If you're opposed to raising the minimum wage ... you should work and live on our current minimum wage" to show how it's possible to survive on $7.25 per hour, he posted, adding: "If you are or know of such a person, please contact this campaign ASAP." Watch Fetterman's launch video here. (Read more John Fetterman stories.)

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