Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman will be Pennsylvania’s next senator after defeating Dr. Mehmet Oz, R. Fetterman’s win is a flip for Democrats, as Fetterman will replace retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey, who held the position since 2011.
During the entirety of the midterm campaign season, this race was seen as key to deciding the balance of power in the evenly divided U.S. Senate. More than $260 million were spent on advertisements, according to the tracking firm AdImpact. President Joe Biden, former President Donald Trump, and former President Barack Obama all campaigned in Pennsylvania in the weekend before Election Day to give their parties’ candidates a push over the finish line.
Fetterman has a long history in Pennsylvania politics. He served as mayor of Braddock for 13 years and has been the lieutenant governor since 2019. Questions arose about his ability to serve after a serious stroke in May from which he’s still recovering.
Dr. Oz became a household name thanks to appearances on Oprah and his own TV show. He was criticized for living in New Jersey for decades and formally changing his address to Pennsylvania in 2020.
In the final weeks of the campaign, the race was a toss-up. Both candidates went on the attack, honing in on issues that voters in their party care about most. For Fetterman and Democrats, that was abortion.
“And then they try to make Roe v. Wade as extremist, and that’s absurd. To me, Roe v. Wade was the law of the nation, and that’s the way it stood for 50 years. And to me that’s what I am running on and that’s what I would absolutely codify given the opportunity to vote in support for that,” Fetterman said during a recent campaign event.
Dr. Oz painted Fetterman as soft on crime, a strategy used by the GOP nationwide.
“John Fetterman during this crime wave has been trying to get as many murderers, convicted and sentenced to life in prison, out of jail as possible,” Oz said during their only debate.
There was also a race for governor in Pennsylvania. But polls showed Attorney General Josh Shapiro, D, well ahead of state Sen. Doug Mastriano, R, so the national parties and PACs spent their time and resources on the Senate race.