In an interview days before his release from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the Pennsylvania Senator talked with “Sunday Morning” anchor Jane Pauley about his “downward spiral” that led to a diagnosis of major depression. He also talks about sharing news of his difficulties publicly, how his health scare affected his family, and his reasons for feeling hopeful for the future.
John Karl Fetterman (born August 15, 1969) is an American politician serving as the junior United States senator from Pennsylvania since 2023 A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 34th lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania from 2019 to 2023 and the mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, from 2006 to 2019. Generally described as a progressive and a populist, Fetterman advocates healthcare as a right, criminal justice reform, abolishing capital punishment, raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, and legalizing cannabis.
Beginning his professional career in the insurance industry, Fetterman studied finance at Albright College and earned an MBA from the University of Connecticut. He went on to join AmeriCorps and earned a Master of Public Policy degree from Harvard. Fetterman’s service with AmeriCorps led him to Braddock, where he moved in 2004 and was elected mayor the next year. As mayor, Fetterman sought to revitalize the former steel town through art and youth programs.
Fetterman ran for the U.S. Senate in 2016, finishing third in the Democratic primary. He ran for lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania in 2018, defeating a field of candidates that included incumbent Mike Stack in the Democratic primary and winning the election with incumbent governor Tom Wolf. During his tenure, Fetterman received national attention for his efforts to legalize cannabis statewide and for his opposition to President Donald Trump’s false claims of election fraud in Pennsylvania.
In 2021, Fetterman announced his candidacy in the 2022 U.S. Senate election in Pennsylvania. He won the Democratic nomination with 59% of the vote and defeated Republican Party nominee Mehmet Oz in the general election with 51% of the vote, becoming the first Democrat to win this seat since 1962. Fetterman resigned as lieutenant governor upon being sworn in to the Senate on January 3, 2023.