It’s been rumored for months that one-time U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman was again setting his sights beyond Braddock, the steel town-turned-urban renewal test lab where he’s been mayor since 2005.
And while Fetterman has yet to publicly confirm the speculation, campaign-style meet-and-greets announced via his Facebook page over the weekend may have done it for him.
Those events are slated for Braddock on Tuesday and Philadelphia on Wednesday. The latter, in particular, lends credence to the theory that Fetterman is again looking outward as he seeks a larger platform for his brand of liberal populism.
As recently as August, Fetterman, a Democrat, told KDKA-TV that he was contemplating a run to replace Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, a scandal-plagued second-in-command to Gov. Tom Wolf, also a Democrat. But Fetterman has remained publicly noncommittal since then.
Other rumors dating back to 2016 indicated that Fetterman was being considered for the role by Democratic power brokers looking to oust Stack as his relationship with Wolf soured.
Former Gov. Ed Rendell told City & State in August, “John is the archetype of a Trump-Democratic voter — except that he has a master’s from Harvard. We should be using candidates like John in Pennsylvania all the time.”
Rendell added at the time, “I love John Fetterman. Of course, only Gov. Wolf can choose who to back for lieutenant governor.”
The governor’s office has so far declined to comment.
State Democrats will hold their endorsement convention at the beginning of February. In Pennsylvania, candidates for lieutenant governor and governor run separately in party primaries and together in the general election.