Fetterman’s campaigns in Indiana; Lamb in the counties of the region | Local News
The campaign to replace retired U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, R-Lehigh Valley, brought two leading Democratic candidates to west-central Pennsylvania over the weekend.
A restaurant in downtown Indiana was packed late Sunday morning with supporters of Lt. Governor and Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful John Fetterman.
“Seems like a lot of people for such a red county,” Fetterman told Spaghetti Benders of Indiana County.
He touted the idea of seeking “every county, every vote,” in his bid to succeed Toomey.
Fetterman and U.S. Representative Conor Lamb, D-Mt. Lebanon, appeared in several counties over the weekend. Fetterman was heading to Cambria County after appearing in Indiana.
Lamb’s stops included Butler, Armstrong and Westmoreland counties.
“We’re going to miss Pat,” Fetterman said of Indiana. “He understood how to be despised by Republicans and Democrats alike.”
It was also an offer that took Fetterman to Armstrong County on Saturday.
“Every county needs to be contacted,” he said.
Fetterman vowed not to let his supporters down, favoring a minimum wage increase of $7.25 an hour and saying reproductive freedom is sacred.
“Roe v. Wade (the 1973 Supreme Court decision on abortion) will be one of my litmus tests (for future Supreme Court nominees),” Fetterman said.
He said counties like Indiana matter.
“We all have problems in small counties that are bipartisan,” he said after his Spaghetti Benders speech.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative “is a bit more controversial in light of the war in Ukraine,” Fetterman said. “Energy independence is key in Pennsylvania, but climate is key.”
Fetterman said the nation needs to “be sure we’re not relying on (oil imports from) Russia, Iran or Venezuela.”
Lamb attended the Butler County Democratic Committee Breakfast on Saturday (as did Fetterman) and the Greater Westmoreland County Labor Council Breakfast on Sunday at Ferrante’s Lakeview near Greensburg.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, in Indiana County, while Republicans hold the state Senate seat, all four state House seats and majorities on the County Board of Commissioners and Council of Supervisors of the largest municipality (White Township), out of 48,742 registered voters, the Republican advantage is only 26,575 against 16,037 for the Democrats, who have the majority on the council of the second largest municipality, Indiana Borough.
“We knew him when he was still Mayor of Braddock,” said Councilman Donald Lancaster, who attended the Spaghetti Benders rally on Sunday with his wife, Faye Bradwick. “He came to Braddock as an AmeriCorps worker, and he saw a need and he stayed there.”
Those not registered with any of the major parties, as nonpartisan members or other parties, total 6,130 voters in Indiana County.
The gap is even wider next door in Armstrong County, which shares a state senator and two of three House members with Indiana County. Of Armstrong’s 42,591 registered voters, Republicans have 25,380, Democrats 12,288 and others 4,923 overall.
“We can win counties like this by showing up, answering tough questions, and talking about the issues that really matter to people — not just spewing meaningless slogans,” Lamb said on Facebook after his Saturday visit to Cafe Ispirare in downtown Kittanning. “That’s what sets our campaign apart and that’s how we win in November.”
Lamb’s campaign could not be reached for comment on the congressman’s campaign plans in Indiana County, or for further comment on his weekend activities in other nearby counties.
Fetterman followed Lamb around Armstrong County, visiting Falsetti’s Villa restaurant in North Buffalo Township and speaking to about 60 supporters.
“The path to making that seat blue is through communities like Kittanning,” Fetterman said on Facebook.
However, as his campaign noted, this was Fetterman’s second visit to Armstrong County in recent weeks, after joining striking nurses at ACMH Hospital on the picket line.
In Indiana County, his visit three years ago was remembered, when he organized a statewide recreational marijuana listening tour at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex on the University campus. from Indiana, Pennsylvania.
“IUP is a wonderful school,” Fetterman said. “We need to make sure that in Pennsylvania we have a top notch state (university) system. I have always been a strong supporter of our state system (of higher education).
He also said the drive to legalize marijuana “has taken a leap forward” since April 14, 2019, when he heard from more than 200 people at KCAC.
“Now they’re calling it inevitable,” Fetterman said, referring to state Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-Erie’s, bid to legalize the sale of edibles such as cookies and brownies made with medical marijuana. , and to a hearing in February by a State Senate. committee to discuss the legalization of recreational marijuana.
At Spaghetti Benders, a restaurant owned by former senatorial candidate Tony DeLoreto, most in attendance raised their hands when Fetterman asked them if they had lost friends over political disputes, if they had stolen signs politicians or if they simply felt outnumbered.
On the other hand, Fetterman said, he hasn’t encountered a single supporter of Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., whose opposition to ending the Senate filibuster has drawn the ire of the lieutenant governor. .
He wants the Senate to get rid of the filibuster because “we have to do some things for this country.”
He also promised that “not a penny of your money (donated to my campaign) will be used as a weapon against a fellow Democrat. Conor Lamb is not a socialist – and neither am I.
Fetterman said he received support from “200,000 individual donors” living in “90% of Pennsylvania’s ZIP codes,” saying the number equates to what would be Pennsylvania’s third-largest city, after Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.