Pennsylvania Democratic Senate Nominee John Fetterman Returns To Campaign Trail After Stroke
Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman held his first public event on Friday since suffering from a stroke in May.
He returned to the Bayfront Convention Center where his wife noticed early signs of a stroke three months ago.
“My life could have ended,” he told the crowd in an 11-minute speech. “It’s the truth. But I’m so grateful to be here tonight.”
Fetterman will face off against Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz in November in one of the most watched races in the nation. It represents what should be Democrats’ best chance to flip the Senate seat currently held by retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R).
Fetterman’s campaign reported that they had hoped for 500 attendees at best, but that the crowd exceeded 1,300 people.
Though Fetterman kept the speech short, there were few signs that he had a stroke just a few months ago. Sometimes he paused in the middle of sentences and repeated words, but he has reported that he is working with a speech therapist.
The Pennsylvania politician lashed out at Oz, who had lived in New Jersey for decades.
“He’s a New Jersey resident,” Fetterman said. “He doesn’t live here. He’s not about us. He doesn’t care about us.”
Oz’s campaign, which has held over 140 campaign events since June, responded by labeling Fetterman as a “no-show for the commonwealth.”
“Dr. Mehmet Oz is campaigning across the commonwealth, listening and sharing concerns of the people he meets, and showing up for Pennsylvanians, unlike John Fetterman,” Oz’s communications director Brittany Yannick said in a Friday night statement. “Pennsylvanians deserve answers now from Fetterman. It’s been far too long.”