John Fetterman, towering at 6’8, entered the crowded dining hall of Spaghetti Benders for a meet and greet on April 24. The candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for PA Senate in 2022 took the opportunity to meet potential voters and discuss the issues.
“This seat could determine the composition of the United States Senate,” Fetterman said to a crowd of Indiana’s residents and IUP students.
Fetterman walked through the restaurant talking to voters about the issues and taking pictures.
Fetterman is running grassroots, populist campaign that seems to appeal to voters of all ages, incomes and locales.
“If Joe Manchin is your type of Democrat, I will let you down,” Fetterman said referencing the Democratic Senator known for his conservatism and elitism.
Some of the issues he is campaigning on are protecting abortion rights, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, ending the filibuster and legalizing marijuana.
Fetterman describes marijuana as a “cash crop” for farmers and an untapped gold mine for tax revenue. He also said that marijuana has “not caused a single overdose” and should not be criminalized like other narcotics.
When asked about his plan to address the student debt crisis, Fetterman said, “We have to agree that there is some appropriate level of forgiveness.”
Fetterman stated his support of Biden’s move to reevaluate the debt students are in. Pennsylvania ranks third in the country for the amount of debt its students are in as the average student is $38,000 in debt.
“We really need to address that,” Fetterman said.
After Fetterman met everyone, he gave a short speech about his campaign and why he is running. Fetterman emphasized his resilience in his beliefs.
He said, “You’ll never see me caving on an issue,” and “You’ll always have my vote in D.C.”
“A grassroots campaign starts in rural areas,” Brian Doyle (senior, history) said.
“I think it shows his commitment to every county, every vote,” Doyle said.
He believes Fetterman coming to rural areas to talk to the average voter is “how we bring about real change.”
The PA primary is May 17 and the deadline to register is May 12. Voters must be registered with the party of the primary they intend to vote in.