John Fetterman declares victory in Pennsylvania Senate race
(WHTM) – Democrat Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman has declared victory in the Pennsylvania United States Senate race.
“It’s official. I will be the next U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania,” said Fetterman at 12:57 a.m. on Wednesday. “We bet on the people of Pennsylvania – and you didn’t let us down. And I won’t let you down. Thank you.”
According to the Fetterman campaign, Oz called Fetterman at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday to concede the race.
Oz’s campaign held a watch party in Bucks County that was wrapped up prior to the race being called and he has not publicly released any statements on the race.
Fetterman is expected to give Pennsylvania two Democrat U.S. Senators as he joins Bob Casey in Washington D.C. for the third time in Pennsylvania history since 1914.
Since Pennsylvania voters got the right to vote for U.S. Senators in 1914, there have been six races that have come within 100,000 votes, most recently in 2016 for Pat Toomey, who Fetterman is expected to replace.
During a victory speech in Pittsburgh on Wednesday morning, Fetterman credited his “every county, every vote” strategy.
“And that’s exactly what happened,” Fetterman, 53, told a cheering crowd early Wednesday at a concert venue in Pittsburgh. “We jammed them up. We held the line. I never expected that we would turn these red counties blue, but we did what we needed to do and we had that conversation across every one of those counties.”
Fetterman’s projected win comes hours after Democrat Attorney General Josh Shapiro declared victory in Pennsylvania’s race for Governor. The night hands former President Donald Trump two losses after he endorsed Oz and Doug Mastriano in the primary.
Fetterman’s expected election to the Senate comes nearly six months after he suffered a stroke. Fetterman experienced auditory processing issues that required closed captioning for many of his interviews and the abc27 debate, but his doctors have said he’s fit to serve.
Fetterman also received a pacemaker and defibrillator in May after suffering the stroke.
The former Mayor of Braddock, a borough outside Pittsburgh, Fetterman graduated from Harvard University with a master’s in Public Policy. He joined AmeriCorps and started a GED program in Braddock.
Fetterman previously ran for Senate in 2016, losing in the primary, and was elected Lieutenant Governor in 2018. As Lieutenant Governor Fetterman served as chair of the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons and pushed to legalize marijuana.
On his campaign website, Fetterman says that the criminal justice system needs a significant overhaul, plus, he supports legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, a $15 minimum wage, and securing LGBTQIA+ rights.
Fetterman also received high-profile endorsements during the race, including from President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama during weekend rallies. He also received a later endorsement from former television host Oprah Winfrey.
Oz faced criticism throughout his candidacy for his longtime New Jersey residency, as well as allegedly promoting dangerous products on his television show and comments he made regarding abortion during the October abc27 Senate debate.
Fetterman will be sworn in as Pennsylvania’s next U.S. Senator in January 2023.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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