John Fetterman Returns to Campaign Trail for Triumphant Rally After Stroke

The Democratic candidate in Pennsylvania’s Senate race has faced questions about his health.

In his first major political event since suffering a stroke in May, John Fetterman appeared before a raucous crowd in Erie, Pennsylvania, on Friday where he wasted no time directly confronting the issue of his health, telling supporters at the start of the event that he was grateful to be alive.

“Tonight for me, it’s about being grateful, just grateful,” Fetterman said. “Three months ago my life could have ended. It’s the truth.”

The audience, which reportedly included voters who had previously supported Donald Trump, was estimated at more than 1,000 people, yet another clear demonstration of the palpable excitement fueling Fetterman’s campaign against the Republican candidate, celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz. In recent weeks, Oz has regularly questioned Fetterman’s stroke recovery and demanded that the lieutenant governor show up for five televised debates. Meanwhile, Oz still faces considerable ridicule for having lived in New Jersey for decades, in addition to owning five mansions—none of them located in the state where he running for Senate.

On Friday, Fetterman, who is leading Oz by double digits, stood by his progressive platform, which includes his support for Medicare for All and legal marijuana, and he repeated his campaign promise to be the “51st vote” to eliminate the filibuster. 

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