Braddock Mayor John Fetterman announces lieutenant governor run |
Politics Election

Braddock Mayor John Fetterman announces lieutenant governor run

Wesley Venteicher
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
Braddock Mayor John Fetterman talks to a member of the media prior to the start of a press conference announcing his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania in Braddock on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. Fetterman said rising inequality, partisan extremism and the opioid crisis all were factors in his decision to run.
Kristina Serafini | Tribune-Review
A child holds an upside down sign supporting Braddock Mayor John Fetterman during a press conference announcing Fetterman's candidacy for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania in Braddock on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.

Braddock Mayor John Fetterman announced Tuesday he is running for lieutenant governor.

Fetterman, 48, gained popularity as a progressive political outsider during a run for a U.S. Senate seat last year. He lost the Democratic primary to Chester County’s Katie McGinty but surpassed all polling projections by winning 20 percent of the statewide vote and collecting the most votes in Allegheny County by a wide margin.

In an interview, Fetterman said he believes the lieutenant governorship would give him a larger platform to address priorities including immigration, marijuana legalization, community policing and the opioid epidemic.

He said he is intent on keeping a Democrat in the governor’s office.

“In this particular race, it’s also being a progressive backstop for Governor Wolf and doing everything we can in our campaign to make sure he’s re-elected,” Fetterman said.

He declined to share details of his talks with Wolf’s office.

He said he wouldn’t live in the lieutenant governor’s mansion, and added that he thought he could boost the profile of the office, which typically receives little public attention.

“I do believe I can remake the office and make something productive out of it,” he said.

Fetterman made public his plans to run in a two-minute video on Twitter Tuesday morning, hours before kicking off his campaign during an event at Superior Motors, a restaurant in Braddock.

The video on Twitter shows him driving past ruined and abandoned homes and working people in Braddock, where he has been mayor for 12 years.

He criticizes President Donald Trump in the video for using towns like Braddock as “props” for political ends.

“Local problems this large require a lot of help and assistance from higher levels of government, and we’re not getting that right now. It’s about getting a bigger platform, and that’s why I’m running for lieutenant governor,” he says in the video.

Nominees for governor and lieutenant governor appear together on general election ballots in Pennsylvania, but run separately in primaries.

Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. Mike Stack had a distant relationship during the 2014 campaign and through their first term in office. Wolf stripped Stack of his police protective detail and reduced staffing at the lieutenant governor’s residence early this year following a scandal over Stack’s verbal mistreatment of state workers.

Also in the lieutenant governor’s race are Murrysville U.S. Army veteran Aryanna Berringer, a former Congressional candidate; and Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone.

Wes Venteicher is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-380-5676, [email protected] or via Twitter @wesventeicher.

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