Democratic senate nominee John Fetterman hasn’t been seen on the campaign trail since suffering a stroke days before Pennsylvania's May 17 primary election. But starting Tuesday, the Lt. Gov. can be seen on televisions across the state, including on Fox News in the Johnstown, Pittsburgh, and Scranton media markets.
His campaign launched two new ads, both casting the candidate as a political outsider ready to “take on Washington.” In the 30-second spot running on Fox News, army veteran and Clarion County School Board member Braxton White says, “Washington attacked towns like this for years. They wrote bad deals that sent away our jobs…approved the drugs that kill our kids.” The spot presents Fetterman as someone who doesn’t “just talk” and who has lived in towns “like this” for 20 years.
In the second minute-long spot he shirks “labels.” He speaks to camera saying
"I do not look like a typical politician. I don’t even look like a typical person.” The campaign tells NBC News the ad was filmed before his stroke. The spot leans heavily on his Pennsylvania roots. Neither ad mentioned Oz directly, but takes jabs at those who “don’t know us.” In a recent tweet he called his opponent “New Jersey’s Dr. Oz.” That spot will run in Pittsburgh and Scranton on broadcast channels.
The ads come as Fetterman's return to the trail remains up in the air, as he continues to recover from a stroke and medical procedure related to it. Some Democrats have raised concerns about when Fetterman will be well enough to campaign again and frustration about the lack of transparency from the campaign in the weeks after his stroke.