President Biden said Tuesday night that Democrats are united around Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman after he won his state’s Democratic Senate primary in one of the nation’s most important midterm races.
“As Pennsylvania’s Lieutenant Governor, John Fetterman understands that working class families in Pennsylvania and across the country have been dealt out for far too long. 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,” Biden said in a statement.
Biden’s statement comes after Fetterman was projected to be the winner in the Democratic primary, handing the lieutenant governor the chance to flip the seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R).
Fetterman has been labeled a progressive by many observers, in part due to his advocacy for issues such as a $15 minimum wage and legalized marijuana and his criticism of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), an avowed centrist and perpetual thorn in the party’s side. However, he’s also said he would be a strong Biden supporter in the Senate.
Fetterman won the nomination against Rep. Conor Lamb and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta.
Questions have swirled over whether Fetterman is electable statewide in a place as divided as Pennsylvania given his progressive reputation, though some observers point to his previous statewide win and say his image as a gruff, tattooed, 6 foot, 9 inch figure could be appealing to blue-collar voters.
For their part, Republicans are finalizing a divisive primary among celebrity surgeon Mehmet Oz, conservative commentator Kathy Barnette and former hedge fund manager Dave McCormick.
However, they’ve all voiced support for former President Trump’s agenda, and Biden on Tuesday continued his focus on tying the broader party to the divisive former president.
“While we await the results of the GOP primary, one thing is clear – these candidates are not your father’s GOP. They have fought a malicious, chaotic primary campaign to be the most extreme,” Biden said. “And they have shown people their authentic selves – that whoever emerges will be too dangerous, too craven, and too extreme to represent Pennsylvania in the United States Senate.”