Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman will return to the field next week after recovering from a stroke in May. The Democratic Senate candidate will hold a rally next Friday in Erie, Pennsylvania.
The rally will mark his first major public campaign appearance since the stroke, which occurred before the state’s primary election. Since then, Feltman has primarily engaged with voters during his recovery through social media and advertising, in addition to a series of live fundraisers he attended last month.
Erie County is a key bellwether for Keystone State. President Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by just 1 percentage point in 2016. In 2020, then-candidate Joe Biden changed it back to blue, also by just 1 point. In May, Feltman won Erie County by 23,200 votes in the Democratic primary, nearly 80 percent of the primary vote. In the Republican primary, his opponent, Dr. Mohamed Oz, visited Erie on Wednesday and finished second in the county with 7,500 votes.
“Before the 2020 election, I said that if I could know one fact about the outcome, I could tell you who would win Pennsylvania. Whoever wins Erie County, whoever wins Pennsylvania,” Feltman said. “I’ve visited Erie dozens of times in the past, and I’m honored and proud to be back on the campaign trail here.”
Hours after announcing the rally, Feltman’s team also revealed that the campaign had exceeded 1 million individual donations since its launch last year.
Pennsylvania’s Senate race is a key battleground over who will control the Senate after November’s election. Democrats see it as a possible option, and Republican Senator Pat Toomey will retire.
Although he has been sidelined in the campaign for months, Feltman still leads Oz in recent polls. A Fox News poll in late July put him ahead of Oz by 11 points. The June USA TODAY/Suffolk poll put him up 9 percentage points.
Since the primary, Feltman’s campaign has spent nearly $4.5 million on advertising statewide, including more than $1 million on digital ads. By comparison, Oz and the National Republican Senate Committee spent more than $3.5 million in total, most of which came from the NRSC. Oz spent $17,000 on digital advertising alone.
Feltman has also been tweaking prominent TV personality Oz with a series of viral videos depicting him as out of touch with Pennsylvania voters and blasting him as a carpet guy. A video shows Oz talking about a mashup of clips from New Jersey.Feltman’s campaign also wooed him with videos of well-known New Jersey people, including Snooki and his ex from the “Jersey Shore” reality show. ‘The Sopranos’ star Stevie Van Zandt.
recently in another video During Feltman’s campaign, Oz was seen kissing his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, playing basketball on a private court and ziplining on a zipline.
“It’s hard to discern a significant difference in happiness between someone who makes $50,000 versus $50 million,” Oz said in a video posted on Twitter.
Minutes before Feltman’s campaign announced a live rally, Oz’s team launched a new website in response to Feltman’s absence from the campaign, showing that Feltman has not held a live campaign since May 12 .
“Obviously Feltman was afraid to answer publicly that he was living off a dime from his parents and that he was banning fracking, legalizing all drugs, allowing sanctuary cities, and releasing criminals on our streets. radical stance,” said Brittany Yanick of the Oz Communications Director. “In the meantime, Dr. Mehmet Oz is showing up for Pennsylvanians and will continue to rise above John Feltman who refuses to answer his dangerous views. Pennsylvanians deserve answers.”