Why I am Voting for John Fetterman for US Senate

By Mary Ganguli, Pittsburgh, PA

Editor’s Note: Mary Ganguli lives in the Point Breeze neighborhood of Pittsburgh.  She is Professor of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and School of Public Health.

I first heard of John Fetterman while he was the Mayor of Braddock, a small Mon Valley municipality, which was once a bustling, vibrant, steel town, but never recovered after the steel industry collapsed in the late 1970s. John is not originally from Braddock; the details of how he, a Harvard graduate in public policy, moved to Braddock make a fascinating read. 

John, a Democrat, currently the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, is contesting for the open US Senate seat from PA in this November’s mid-term election. Here are his positions (www.johnfetterman.com/issues) on the issues that matter to us as Pennsylvanians.

John Fetterman

John became a national media sensation early in his career. This is partly due to his unusual appearance and demeanor —  6’ 8” tall and muscular, a casually dressed, straight-talking man of the people, and not the typical suit-and-tie equivocating politician.

I attended a Pitt Public Health graduation ceremony in 2014 when John was the commencement speaker. His Harvard  crimson hood looked like a mere ribbon over the black academic robe draped on his giant frame. He congratulated the graduates, reminding them that they were graduating in the beautiful Carnegie Music Hall built with the steel made in Braddock. He shared the desperate situations of the poorer Braddock families whose homes lacked heating during the winter polar vortex. He then told the graduates to go out and make a difference in the world with their public health degrees — pretty much describing his own career.

I also came to know John personally in 2014 while he was the Mayor of Braddock. I was chasing him down to officiate at our son’s wedding. I had left him notes and voice mail and was wondering how else to reach him. Then, my phone rang and the voice on the other end said, “Mary, this is John Fetterman.”  I started to repeat the details I had already put into my earlier messages. He stopped me abruptly, saying. “Mary, this is clearly the first wedding in your family. I have done dozens of weddings. You will have a million things to worry about, and I will not be one of those things. Just tell me when and where to show up, and what you want me to do and say, and I will be there.”  And he did. Since then, the Fetterman family has come over to our place for dinner and we found that John has a secret passion for Indian food (gobi mattar is his favorite).

John met with the Indian American community in the Pittsburgh area and with the Indian American organization IMPACT in Philadelphia. John tells me he is proud to receive not only our support but also our input on the issues that matter to us. He is particularly focused on the economy, health, and education, and if elected  — only we can make that happen — he hopes to serve on the relevant Senate Committees.

If he is our next Senator, he will show up as promised for us in Washington and do what needs to be done for us Pennsylvanians. So, Let’s get together and Vote for John Fetterman in the November elections.


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