One candidate is unabashedly blunt, willing to embrace progressive positions, doing little to build rapport with party leaders and dominating rooms with a 6-foot-8-inch frame. The other crafts a more moderate image, a deliberate public speaker who became a congressional aide out of college and has carefully cultivated relationships within the party ever since.
In both style and substance, John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro strike dramatically different profiles.
Yet their fate — and that of the Democratic Party — is intertwined in a pair of Pennsylvania elections that will be among the most closely watched in the U.S.
Fetterman offers Democrats their clearest path to picking up a U.S. Senate seat, which could go a long way in helping the party keep control of the chamber.
Shapiro, meanwhile, poses even larger existential questions as he faces a Republican rival for governor who has embraced conspiracies about the last presidential election and would have significant influence over running the next one in the premier battleground state.
“The stakes have never been higher, the contrast has never been clearer,” Shapiro told state Democratic Party committee members at their Saturday meeting in Gettysburg. “This commonwealth has the power to decide whether we have the 51st senator. This commonwealth has the power to decide whether the great experiment that started in the city of Philadelphia 245 years ago continues.”
With the stakes so high, Fetterman and Shapiro are working toward a united front ahead of the fall election.
They are participating in a coordinated campaign funded and run by national and state party organizations, including the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Governors Association and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Together, these groups could send more money to Pennsylvania than anywhere else to register and persuade voters as part of what the state party calls “the largest and earliest midterm coordinated campaign in Pennsylvania history.”
Such help from national organizations may be badly needed in a big swing state.
After backing Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential campaign, Pennsylvania swung to Joe Biden in 2020 — but only by about 1 percentage point. And Democrats gearing up for the 2022 campaign are already facing huge challenges.
Fetterman suffered a stroke just days before winning his party’s nomination for the Senate race last month and has not yet returned to the campaign trail, or given much indication when he will do so. And both candidates will be running in a difficult environment for Democrats, weighed down by Biden’s unpopularity and rising prices for everyday goods, food and gasoline.
Aides to both campaigns say the coordination has already begun.
Fetterman’s and Shapiro’s campaigns say they have been in touch often, and Shapiro said he has texted with Fetterman since Fetterman’s stroke.
Campaign aides say they expect the men will appear together at bigger events, such as rallies, regional campaign office openings or party events to raise money, help boost turnout or highlight down-ticket candidates.
Earlier this month, Fetterman’s wife, Giselle, stood in for him at an event with Shapiro where they spoke at the opening of …read more
Source:: Politics Headlines
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