Lt. Gov. and Democratic senatorial candidate John Fetterman spoke to more than 500 supporters Tuesday night in the lobby of the Kowalczyk Convention and Athletic Complex on the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus.
“We got more votes in our primary than (Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet) Oz did in his primary, in this red district,” Fetterman told the crowd.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, it was Fetterman 3844, 3537 oz.
However, state officials reported on the department’s website that Fetterman received 3,844 votes to 1,955 for U.S. Rep. Connor Lamb and 249 votes for two other candidates on the Indiana County Democratic ballot, while Oz received 3,537 votes in the Republican primary to finish second. after the general staff. second place David McCormick (3,978) and Kathy Barnett in third place with 2,539 and 1,110 votes split between the other four candidates.
As for registration, as of Sept. 12, 26,873 are registered Republicans in Indiana County, 15,873 are registered Democrats, 4,221 have no party affiliation, and 1,920 are registered with other parties.
“As you know, I had a stroke,” Fetterman said. “Dr. Oz tells me that every day.”
Fetterman said he might miss a word or mix two words together, but, “How many of you have had a personal health crisis in your life?”
He added: “I hope you don’t have a doctor in your life who laughs at you?”
He repeated some of the other things he said on the campaign trail — that he would be the 51st Democratic vote in the Senate, which is now split 50-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris, who needs to sever ties; that the filibuster (which requires 60 votes) should be eliminated and that he would “get things done” in Washington.
Fetterman also said that Oz may be a joke, but not funny because of his position that abortion is murder; that Oz is a carpet fitter who doesn’t actually live in Pennsylvania (although Oz said he married his wife 36 years ago in the same house they live in now in Montgomery County, across the Delaware River from a longtime residence in New Jersey ).
Also, “how does a person who owns 10 mansions think $7.25 is OK (as a minimum wage)?” Fetterman said. “Send Oz back to New Jersey, send me to DC for you.”
A spokesman for the Republican National Committee called Fetterman a “failed politician” like President Biden.
Sean Shute said they are “driving historic inflation, threatening to destroy energy jobs and destroying opportunities for families and workers across the Keystone State.”
Others, speaking at KCAC, disputed that argument.
“We are grateful that John came to us,” Indiana County Commissioner Sherin Hess said. “John is not going to let us down. We know John will fight for us.”
Similar comments were made by Rachel Sternfeld, president of the Indiana-Armstrong Central Labor Council; IUP College Democrats President Sam Bigham; Indiana County Democratic Committee Vice Chair Lynn Alvin and Committee Chair Jamie Smith, who recalled growing up in Braddock on the other side of the Monongahela River when Fetterman was mayor there.
He also gave a shout-out to another Democratic candidate in the room, Brian Doyle, who is running against state Rep. Jim Struzzi, R-Indiana, in the 62nd Legislative District.
If Democratic gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro wins in November, Smith said, “he’s going to need help in the General Assembly,” which is now under Republican control.
Sternfeld challenged those who said Fetterman never had a real job, calling his work as an AmeriCorps volunteer a “real job.”
Fetterman’s wife Giselle also spoke at the KCAC meeting. She recalled going to Braddock to see what Fetterman was up to as an American Corps volunteer and later as mayor.
“I fell in love with the city as it fell in love with me,” Pennsylvania’s second lady told the crowd.
Two groups gathered outside KCAC to argue for Oz. One was a group of Indiana County residents, and the other was a group of men dressed in orange prison overalls who called themselves the “Fetterman Prisoners.”
Schutt also provided background on Fetterman’s opposition to fracking, which the GOP says will destroy Pennsylvania’s energy industry.