Lt. Gov. John Fetterman won the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nomination after maintaining a wide lead in the polls for months before the contest and experiencing a stroke just days prior to voting. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Fetterman defeated Rep. Conor Lamb, who became a rising star in the Democratic Party after winning a GOP-leaning open seat in a March 2018 special election and then narrowly defeating Republican Sean Parnell in a western Pennsylvania district in 2020. Parnell suspended his own Republican Senate campaign after his estranged wife accused him of domestic abuse and a judge granted her sole legal custody of their three children.


On Sunday, Fetterman disclosed in a statement that he had a stroke Friday “that was caused by a clot from my heart being in an A-fib rhythm for too long.” He thanked his wife, Gisele, for spotting his symptoms, as well as the doctors who treated him. John Fetterman said he is “on my way to a full recovery” and is looking forward to returning to the campaign trail soon. His campaign said Gisele Fetterman and “other special guests” would host his Pittsburgh-area election night party while he recovers before returning to the campaign trail.

On Tuesday, as primary voting was going on, Fetterman underwent a post-stroke procedure.

“I just got out of a procedure to implant a pacemaker with a defibrillator in my heart,” Fetterman wrote in a tweet. “We got the all-clear that it was successful, and that I’m on track for a full recovery.”

On the campaign trail, Fetterman declined to label his platform as progressive, arguing he is a Democrat. But his policies have been portrayed as more left-wing than Democratic primary rival Lamb. Fetterman is known for dressing casually, often campaigning in shorts and sweatshirts, and sparking social media debates about the state’s rival gas stations and convenience stores, Sheetz and Wawa.


The race for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat soon to be vacated by the retiring Sen. Pat Toomey is a toss-up, according to the Cook Political Report. In his effort to flip the seat for Democrats, Fetterman will go on to face the winner of the Republican primary, a tight contest between businessman Dave McCormick, conservative commentator Kathy Barnette, and television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.