Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman secured the Democratic party nomination in his bid for U.S. Senate — two days after suffering a stroke.
Fetterman, 52, defeated US Rep. Conor Lamb and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta on Tuesday to advance to November’s general election.
He will face the winner of a contentious Republican primary — whose winner has yet to be determined — which includes TV doctor Dr. Mehmet Oz, ex-hedge fund CEO David McCormick and community activist Kathy Barnette.
“PA — THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING ME AS YOUR DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE FOR U.S. SENATE IN PENNSYLVANIA!!!!!!!!” Fetterman tweeted after he was declared the winner, adding two crying emojis.
Fetterman’s campaign, which had appeared certain to run away with the nomination, became suddenly shrouded in uncertainty after he confirmed that he had been in the hospital all weekend days before the primary.
He suffered “a stroke that was caused by a clot from my heart being in an A-fib rhythm for too long,” he told supporters in a video released by his campaign.
Fetterman, who is 6-foot-8 and once weighed over 400 pounds before dropping 150 in 2018, said he is on his way to a “full recovery” but will remain in the hospital for some time.
The former mayor of Braddock — a suburb of Pittsburgh — is a progressive who has promised a labor-focused agenda if elected to Washington.
He will attempt to take the seat of retiring Republican US Sen. Pat Toomey, which Democrats are eyeing as a huge potential pickup come midterms. Fetterman led in polls and fundraising from the start, even as the party’s establishment rallied around Lamb.
President Joe Biden tweeted his congratulations to the tattooed nominee, calling Fetterman “a strong nominee” who “can win in November,” while deriding whichever GOP candidate is nominated as “malicious” and “not your father’s GOP.”
“John Fetterman understands that working class families in Pennsylvania and across the country have been dealt out for far too long,” the president wrote.
“It’s time to deal them back in, and electing John to the United States Senate would be a big step forward for Pennsylvania’s working people. Democrats are united around John, who is a strong nominee, will run a tough race, and can win in November.”