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Column: Incumbent Stack Unseated By Fetterman In PA Primary

The Trickle Down

The Trickle Down is Salute Magazine‘s weekly column by Political Writer Amanda Godula.  The Trickle Down is a weekly look into what’s need-to-know, fresh takes on trends, and the inevitable controversies from the political arena. Let’s dig in and see what’s happening this week.

PA Democrats choose progressiveness over party by selecting John Fetterman.

Pennsylvania Democrat Mike Stack ran for reelection for Lieutenant Governor with a high likelihood of winning, like every other incumbent in modern political history.  When PA’s Tuesday primary election happened, an unprecedented upset happened – John Fetterman won.

Stack, a Philadelphia native, was battling a scandal: the verbal mistreatment by he and his wife of state troopers on his detail.  These actions, prompted an investigation and strong opposition from within the party, like Braddock Mayor, John Fetterman.

The small town borough Mayor created a big splash in politics since residing in Braddock.  The York, PA native and Harvard grad moved to Braddock in the early 2000s and has been its mayor since 2005.  The tattooed and tall politician has pushed for social programs and very progressive views, landing him TV time on shows like The Colbert Report and The Nightly Show.  The atypical exhibition of his permanent commitment to bettering Braddock, like tattooing the town’s zip code and the date of any deaths on his arms, is what elects him.

Fetterman is demonstrating how a politicians doesn’t need to be cookie cutter and traditional to be elected.

Because of his progressive views, Fetterman received the backing from big names like Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“What John’s campaign is about, and what the progressive message is about, is that we are going to transform this country and create a government that works for all of us, not just wealthy campaign contributors,” Sanders said at a Philadelphia rally for Fetterman.  “We are here to elect John, and to work with John, to transform this country.”

Backing on the Sanders’s message of unity, Fetterman celebrated his near 40% win with his PA votes on Twitter.

Despite Fetterman’s success, he did have a failed 2016 U.S. Senate campaign.  And, some attribute the win less to his political views.

“It was a question of geography,” Marty Marks, spokesperson for Stacks, said.  “We benefited from it four years ago.  But we didn’t this time.”

Yet, something about Fetterman echos a Bernie Sanders message: small town politics make the biggest difference in our lives.  A small town mayor can be in the state legislature. The ideas merit the politician, not the donors. Small towns and pocketbooks are demonstrating power in PA.  There is no party loyalty – it’s about candidates’ ideas. Choosing Fetterman is demonstrative of that, and he knows it. That’s why he recognized the people who put him there on Tuesday night:

“I just want to take our message of ‘All places matter,’ and I’m so honored by the people of Pennsylvania to be the nominee for lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania.”

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