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Josh Shapiro says there is 'no contingency' plan for a Senate vacancy

The Pennsylvania governor tells NBC News he expects fellow Democrat John Fetterman to serve in Senate for "good long while."


In an interview with NBC News Monday, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro says he expects Senator John Fetterman to come back to the Senate and to “serve for a good long while.”

Shapiro would be charged with naming an interim replacement should there be a vacancy and there would then be a special election in November 2024 to fill the rest of the term — a scenario that would put both of the state’s Senate seats on the ballot next year.

When asked If there is a contingency plan in place in case Fetterman decides to step down, Shapiro said, “There is no contingency plan and it is 100% Senator Fetterman’s decision as to what he will do in the future.”

Shapiro said he feels no pressure from inside the Democratic Party to push Fetterman to resign, nor does he feel pressure to push him to stay in the seat to benefit Democrats in the 2024 election.

Fetterman checked himself into the hospital for treatment of “clinical depression” on February 16th. 

“I’m proud of Senator Fetterman for getting the help that he needs and I’m there for Gisele and their family. And I know the people of Pennsylvania I’ve talked to are encouraging him along to get the help that he needs.”

Today the Senator’s team sent their first official update on his status since announcing his hospitalization. 

Communications Director, Joe Calvello wrote that “we don’t have a lot to update folks with since there’s no real news to report except that John is doing well, working with the wonderful doctors, and remains on a path to recovery.” Adding, in part, “he is visiting with staff and family daily, and his staff are keeping him updated on Senate business and news.”