Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman – the Democratic candidate for US Senate in Pennsylvania – will return to the campaign trail next week in his first public appearance since suffering a stroke.
The campaign announced Friday morning that Fetterman, 52, will hold a rally in Erie, a flagship county in Pennsylvania, on Friday, August 12.
“Before the 2020 election, I said if I could know one fact about the results, I could tell you who was going to win Pennsylvania. Whoever wins Erie County will win Pennsylvania,” Fetterman said in a written statement, “Erie County is Pennsylvania’s most important flagship county.”
For the most part, Fetterman has been sidelined since suffering a stroke and undergoing a procedure to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator in May, fueling attacks from opponent Mehmet Oz Republican in the November elections.
Last month, Fetterman made a surprise appearance at a campaign office training event and passed on volunteer zoom calls, telling his followers he was “almost 100%”. He also attended a private fundraising event in Philadelphia two weeks ago.
The race to fill the seat currently held by incumbent GOP U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, which could determine which party controls the upper house, is one of the most watched and expensive races nationally.
Although physically absent from public events and political fundraisers, Fetterman has established himself in Pennsylvania with a series of television commercials and social media posts.
The former Braddock mayor took to social media – including a Cameo from Jersey Shore reality TV personality Nicole “Snooki” LaValle — to call out her opponent, who is a longtime New Jersey resident. The campaign also paid a plane to fly over the beaches of New Jersey with a message that read, “HEY DR. OZ, WELCOME TO NJ! ♥ JOHN.
The famed heart surgeon, who called Fetterman’s posts “sarcastic,” hit back at his Democratic opponent with campaign videos posted on social media. Oz has created a social media “tracker” to track the number of days Fetterman hasn’t been on the campaign trail.
Oz, which was endorsed by former President Donald Trump in the primary, has faced carpetbagger charges since launch his campaign. He registered to vote in Pennsylvania in 2020, using his in-laws’ address in Montgomery County, where his campaign says he currently lives. However, social media posts and one campaign video still show Oz spending time at his mansion in Cliffside Park, New Jersey.
Shortly before Fetterman’s campaign announced the rally in Erie, Oz released a statement accusing him of hiding from voters and the press.