Guest Editorial: In the Democratic primary, Fetterman for U.S. Senate

The contest to replace outgoing Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, who is not seeking reelection, is one of the most closely watched races in the nation, as the seat could tilt control of the U.S. Senate.

The race is among the most crucial in the country.

In the Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, Mehmet Oz, the celebrity surgeon known as “Dr. Oz,” and David McCormick, a hedge fund CEO, are the frontrunners. The Republicans running are competing on which candidate is closer to former President Donald Trump and his far right agenda. Trump has publicly endorsed and is campaigning for Oz.

Among Democrats, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb and State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta are the frontrunners.

In the Democratic primary, we endorse Fetterman for U.S. Senate.

On the issues, the Democratic candidates aren’t that far apart, but Fetterman has demonstrated through his campaign that he is the candidate with the broadest appeal across the state and is the best candidate to represent the Democratic Party’s agenda.

His background as the former mayor of Braddock, a small industrial town in Allegheny County with a large percentage of African Americans in Allegheny County, helps bring a diversity of experience that allows him to connect with residents from small rural communities to Philadelphia, the state’s largest city.

His primary and general election in 2018 as lieutenant governor demonstrates his ability to attract votes statewide, as opposed to a more restricted district. Lamb and Kenyatta have not demonstrated that ability to appeal and win votes statewide. Fetterman can reach all factions of the Democratic Party, whereas Lamb’s appeal is to moderates and Kenyatta is toward the more progressive wing.

It is important to point out that our endorsement of Fetterman is not without concerns.

Fetterman exercised poor judgment in a January 2013 incident, when he pointed a shotgun at an unarmed Black jogger, Christopher Miyares, who he mistook for a suspect in a shooting. Fetterman said he made a “split second” decision in the interest of public safety. Miyares said Fetterman should not be defined by the act and hoped he would win the Senate race. Fetterman should simply admit he made a mistake instead of trying to justify his actions.

We are also endorsing Fetterman for his strong advocacy.

During his time in office as lieutenant governor, Fetterman has been a fierce defender of the election process that saw Democrat Joe Biden carry Pennsylvania over Trump in the 2020 presidential race.

Last week, Fetterman joined other Democrats in urging Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to codify the protections in Roe v. Wade into law.

In addition to expressing support for the codification of Roe V. Wade into federal law, Fetterman has been strong supporter of criminal justice reform; environmental issues, although he supports permitting fracking; raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour; and expanding affordable health care.

While Lamb and Kenyatta have run good campaigns, we believe that Fetterman is the best Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Reprinted from the Philadelphia Tribune

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