PA SENATE: John Fetterman (D)
A Pennsylvania native, John Fetterman was born to teenage parents just starting out on their own. At the time, his father worked nights to put himself through college. John grew up in York, Pennsylvania and followed in his father’s footsteps to Albright College, where he played offensive tackle for the Lions.
At 23, Fetterman joined up with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. He threw himself into the program, mentoring his “little” — an 8-year-old boy who had recently lost his father to AIDS and whose mother was also battling the disease.
Fetterman joined AmeriCorps and served in Pittsburgh’s historic Hill District, where he helped set up the first computer labs in the neighborhood and taught GED classes to young mothers and fathers.
He went on to earn a master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Fetterman returned to Pennsylvania to start a GED program in the town of Braddock, one of the poorest and most challenged communities in the commonwealth. In 2005, encouraged by his students, he ran for mayor. He managed to win the crowded primary by a single vote. In his 13 years as mayor, he worked to rebuild his community, creating jobs, getting youth engaged, and bringing creative urban policy solutions to Braddock. The town now has a community center, urban gardens, and a free store run by Fetterman’s wife, Gisele.
The Fettermans have chosen not to live in the lieutenant governor’s mansion, instead opening up the pool in the official residence to children who typically wouldn’t have access to one. They live with their three children Karl, 12, Gracie, 10, and August, 7, in a restored car dealership in Braddock with the family dog, Levi.
The biographical information above was sourced from the campaign website; see link above for more information.