While there are a number of qualified candidates in the crowded primary for Lieutenant Governor, Penn Democrats is proud to officially endorse John Fetterman, mayor of Braddock, in the Democratic primary.
Mayor Fetterman may not look like a typical politician, but he has dedicated his life to public service. After graduating from Albright College, Fetterman joined the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program where he helped an 8-year-old boy whose parents were both suffering from AIDS fulfill his lifelong goal of graduating college. He then moved to Pittsburgh to teach GED classes in the Hill District, one of the most economically-distressed areas of the city, through AmeriCorps. After a receiving his Masters in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Fetterman returned to the Pittsburgh area to continue his work with AmeriCorps and start a GED program in the town of Braddock.
Fetterman shifted his focus to public office in 2005 when he ran to be the mayor of his adopted hometown. His single-vote victory began what would soon be one of the most impressive urban renewal projects in the state. Braddock, once known for little more than its high crime rate and struggles adapting to a post-manufacturing economy, is now home to new restaurants, art galleries, and coffee shops. Mayor Fetterman and his wife, Gisele, even opened the Braddock Free Store in 2012 to redistribute donated goods to the town’s residents.
John Fetterman achieved what many thought to be impossible, revitalizing a city that revolved around a steel industry that no longer exists today. Mayor Fetterman was always willing to go above and beyond to enact bold change and never failed to demonstrate a strong commitment to his community. He rarely wears a suit to display the tattoos that line his arms, the date of every murder that occurred in Braddock during his time as mayor. He uses the permanent marks as a constant reminder of the work that still needs to be done.
Mayor Fetterman will bring the same devotion to Pennsylvania that he brought to Braddock. In a state ravaged by the opioid epidemic, where Republican lawmakers seem more interested in attacking women’s healthcare than fixing the problems that affect us every day, we need someone capable of helping Governor Wolf enact real change. In a time when progressive values are being attacked nationwide, electing a proud progressive like John Fetterman will send a powerful message that transcends Pennsylvania’s state lines.
Penn Democrats urges voters to support John Fetterman for Lieutenant Governor in the Democratic primary on May 15.