Democrat John Fetterman won the crucial U.S. election in Pennsylvania.
Senate, giving Democrats hope that they may maintain control of the sharply divided chamber and forward President Joe Biden’s agenda for two more years.
The victory came as the Republican-held seat was being recovered from a stroke during the bare-knuckled campaign.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, the smooth-talking, wealthy heart surgeon-turned-TV celebrity who had just moved to the presidential battleground state to run for Senate, was defeated by Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s towering and blunt lieutenant governor who rose to fame as mayor of a downtrodden steel town and became a progressive hero.
Fetterman attributed his “every county, every vote” campaign strategy, in which the tattooed and hoodie-clad candidate aimed to reintroduce the Democratic Party to primarily white working-class areas that had been rejecting it more and more while at the same time.
At a Pittsburgh concert venue early on Wednesday, 53-year-old Fetterman told a roaring throng, “And that’s precisely what happened.”
“We tangled them. We kept up the pace. I never imagined that we would succeed in turning these red counties blue, but we took the necessary action and had that discussion in each of those counties.
Throughout a large portion of the campaign, Fetterman fought off Oz’s criticisms that he wasn’t being truthful about the effects of the stroke and wasn’t fit to serve.
To defend abortion rights, health care, same-sex marriage, unions, voting, and raising the minimum wage, he committed to casting the Democrats’ “51st vote.”
With his stroke on May 13 leaving him with an auditory processing disorder, a common side effect, and the inability to communicate clearly, Fetterman compared it to being knocked down and made it the focus of his campaign.
He told the gathering he was running for, “everyone knocked down and got back up.”
This race is for the future of every neighborhood in Pennsylvania, for every person who felt left behind or tiny town, for every job that has been lost, for every factory that has ever been closed, and for everyone who works hard but never succeeds.