FILE - Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman gavels in a joint session of the Pennsylvania House and Senate before Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019.

(The Center Square) – Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman announced his official bid for the U.S. Senate in 2022 on Monday, a month after he first teased the prospect to his social media followers.

In a 2½-minute campaign ad, Fetterman positions himself as a small-town mayor turned lieutenant governor unconcerned with partisan politics, but rather supporting policies that benefit residents in the state’s forgotten regions.

“I'm running for the U.S. Senate to fight for all of Pennsylvania,” he said. “That's what I did as mayor, it's what I’m doing as lieutenant governor, and what I'll do as your next U.S. Senator.”

Fetterman won a crowded five-way primary to serve as Gov. Tom Wolf’s second in command in 2019. Before that, he spent more than decade as mayor of Braddock, a borough of 3,000 approximately 10 miles east of Pittsburgh that struggled with poverty, blight and rising crime. 

Now, he wants to succeed Sen. Pat Toomey when he retires in 2022, but his policies will hardly resemble that of the two-term Republican. 

“If you sincerely believe healthcare is a privilege, I’m sincerely begging you to vote for the other candidate,” he said on Twitter as he discussed his platform Monday. 

Fetterman also voiced support for raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, decriminalizing marijuana and upholding and expanding LGBT protections, among other progressive policy positions.

Fetterman likely joins a crowded field of potential Democratic candidates that is rumored to include former State Treasurer Joe Torsella, U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb and state Sen. Sharif Street. 

It’s also not the first time Fetterman campaigned for the seat, having lost the 2016 primary election to Katie McGinty.

Staff Reporter

Christen Smith follows Pennsylvania's General Assembly for The Center Square. She is an award-winning reporter with more than a decade of experience covering state and national policy issues for niche publications and local newsrooms alike.